Businessman charged with conspiring to steal over 5000 bags of subsidized fertilizer

By , K24 Digital
On Wed, 7 Jun, 2023 18:06 | 2 mins read
The businessman Eric Kiarie Ng'ang'a in court. PHOTO/Nancy Gitonga

A businessman has been charged with conspiring to steal over 5000 bags of subsidized fertilizer worth Ksh27.8 million from the government.

Appearing before Milimani Senior Resident Magistrate Ben Mark Ekhubi, Eric Kiarie Ng'ang'a denied stealing 560 bags of subsidized fertilizer on transit from Mombasa to National Cereal and Produce Board at Kamwosor Depot in Rift Valley.

The court heard that on diverse dates between March 21 and April 27, 2023, at an unknown place within the Republic, Ng’ang’a who is jointly charged with seven others allegedly conspired to steal 5,000 bags of 50kgs of subsidized fertilizer valued at Ksh27,830,000.

Ng’ang’a also faced other charges of stealing 1,120 bags of subsidized fertilizer on transit from the Port of Mombasa to the National Cereal and Produce Board Depot at Kamwosor Depot in Rift Valley valued at over Ksh9 Million.

Ng’ang’a has denied four counts of fraud and theft filed against him by the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP).

After denying the charges, Ng'ang'a through lawyer David Ayuo applied for the accused to be freed on reasonable bond terms claiming he is willing to abide by all conditions set by the court.

Ayuo urged the court to lift the warrant of arrest issued against his client claiming his client failed to attend court last week as the police did not inform him that he was required to appear in court to answer to the charges. This was after the accused was brought to court on a warrant of arrest.

The DPP through state counsel Virginia Kariuki did not oppose the release of the suspect on bond saying other suspects were charged last week before Chief Magistrate Lucas Onyina and were freed on a bond of Ksh600,000 with an alternative cash bail of Ksh200,000.

Magistrate Ekhubi directed the case to be mentioned on June 13 for pre-trial directions and also to be consolidated. Ng'ang'a was also ordered to deposit a Ksh200,000 cash bail to get his freedom.

The prosecution of the businessman comes after seven other individuals namely Joseph Wamakau, Stanley Mumo, Martin Kioko, Beatrice Mwikali, Fredrick Gateri, Joseph Matheka and Anthony Kimuyu were charged last week with similar offences.

The Prosecution alleges that the eight accused persons on diverse dates between March 21 and April 27, 2023, conspired to steal 560 bags of 50 kilograms of subsidized fertilizer worth Ksh 27,830,000 the property of the Kenyan government.

Kioko, Ng'ang'a, Mwikali, Gateri and Matheka were charged with stealing 560 bags of prilled urea subsidized fertilizer worth Ksh3,080,000 which was in transit from Mombasa to the NCPB Fort Tenant depot.

When the fertilizer disappeared it was being transported on motor vehicle KCC 867 N trailer ZE 6330 make Renault prime mover.

The third count was against the same five accused persons where they denied theft of 560 bags of CAN 26 % N subsidized fertilizer valued at Ksh3,080,000.

The fertilizer was being transported from Mombasa to NCPB Kericho deport.

Kimuyu was charged separately with stealing 560 prilled Urea subsidized fertilizer between Mombasa and Kamwosor NCPB Depot between April 20-24, 2023.

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