Three members of one family have been ordered to forfeit to the State property worth millions of shillings they acquired using public funds stolen from the National Youth Service.
Phylis Njeri Ngirita, Lucy Wambui Ngirita and Jeremiah Gichina Ngirita’s get-rich-quick strategy through defrauding the public has been brought to a halt by Lady Justice Mumbi Ngugi, who ruled that those who profit from proceeds of crime should not be allowed to enjoy the benefits.
The judge ruled that the family, which received in excess of Sh400 million from the National Youth Service (NYS), failed to explain how they acquired the properties.
“From the evidence, I am satisfied that the agency has placed sufficient material before the court to require the respondents to explain the basis of the massive deposits that the received from NYS and the source of the funds from which they purchased the properties,” the Judge said.
The Judge noted that the family received multiple payments in a single day, amounts that ran into millions.
In October 17 and 18, for instance, the three including the mother Lucy Wambui and her daughter Phyllis and son Jeremiah Gichina, received a total of Sh133 million, amounts that were deposited in their respective accounts.
From the deposits, they then went into a spending spree, buying land and vehicles.
“From the material placed before me by the agency, one is constrained to draw the inference that the transactions which resulted in these deposits were criminal in nature. It beggars belief that it is possible for public funds to be legitimately transmitted to individual accounts in such a manner,” the judge said.
Court documents showed that Mrs Ngirita received Sh211 million from NYS to KCB accounts belonging to her firms, Waluco Investments and Ngiwaco Investments, while Jeremiah through his company JerryCathy received Sh87.9 million between December 2015 and April 2016.
Mrs Ngirita transferred Sh58 million to her personal account at KCB, bought a Sh46 million plot in Naivasha and another in Nakuru for Sh7 million, ARA documents reveal.
She jointly with her son purchased 0.70-hectare parcel of land in Waitaluk in Kitale for Sh20 million. Jeremiah bought plots in Naivasha and Nakuru for Sh2.5 million. Phyllis received Sh57.2 million from NYS. The properties were purchased between 2016 and 2017, the period when money was stolen from NYS.
Although the court noted that they had done business with NYS, the judge said it was upon them to demonstrate that the properties were not purchased from proceeds of crime.
The court, however, ordered the release of one Toyota station wagon, registered in the name of Opportunity International WEDCO ltd. Also released is Sh800,000, borrowed from Platinum Credit by Phyllis.