NHIF bosses charged for disobeying court order, to spend fifth night in jail
National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) Chief Executive Officer Geoffrey Mwangi and Chief Finance Director Wilbert Kurgat suffered a blow on Tuesday after a Nairobi court rejected an application to block their prosecution.
The two NHIF bosses are accused of failing to comply with a court order requiring them to produce any documents required by investigators who are probing alleged misappropriation of funds at the corporation.
Appearing before Nairobi Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi, Mwangi and Kurgat were charged with conspiracy to defeat justice by knowingly preventing the execution of a court order and disobedience of lawful orders contrary to the law.
They pleaded not guilty and were detained until Wednesday when the court will rule on their bail application.
“Between September 26, 2018 and November 23, 2018 at the NHIF headquarters along Ragati Road, Upperhill within Nairobi jointly conspired to defeat the course of justice by knowingly preventing the execution of a court order issued by Resident Magistrate Sinkiyan Tobiko on September 25, 2018 requiring production for scrutiny of any books or books of evidential value in connection with investigations being undertaken by Chief Inspector Nephat Marubi of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations headquarters,” reads the charge sheet.
The two NHIF bosses had been arraigned in court on Monday but were not charged after they argued, through Lawyer Tom Ojienda, that the charge preferred against them was ambiguous, therefore cannot be obeyed and pleaded upon.
On Tuesday, however, the court disagreed with the application by the accused and ruled that the two plead to the offences preferred by the prosecution.
“I do not find any prejudice will be occasioned to the two… the charges can be amended at any time or stage of the case. I do not agree that the charge sheet is defective,” ruled Magistrate Andayi.
Mwangi and Kurgat have been in custody since Friday, November 23.
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