The National Youth Service (NYS) scandal has taken a new twist after it emerged that most suspects withdrew their graft proceeds before the Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) obtained court orders to freeze the accounts.
One of them, James Thuita Nderitu, believed to be among the prime beneficiaries of the scandal made away with more than Ksh1.5 billion, even as ARA gave Kenyans false hope of recovering the whole amount stolen through his companies.
By the time ARA froze 10 accounts belonging to Flagstone Merchants, Excella, Firstling and Interscope, firms associated with Nderitu and his wife Yvonne Wanjiku Ngugi, they were holding Ksh33.8 million out of the Ksh1.61 billion which was wired to the accounts from NYS.
In just a day, Firstling Supplies Limited raked in Ksh612 million from NYS, and Ksh876.4 million in three months, totaling to Ksh1.49 billion. The money has been withdrawn and only Ksh6.28 million remains, even as ARA successfully obtained orders to extend the freeze to March 2019.
The order may be useless, even as 93 per cent of the amount is not in the frozen accounts, and its whereabouts is not known.
Another company associated with the couple, Flagstone Merchants received Ksh235 million in just a day and a total of Ksh278.6 million in eight weeks. Of the amount, only Ksh1.2 million remains in the frozen account.
Mr Nderitu himself received a total of Ksh110 million in his personal account from NYS but by the time the account was frozen, he had Ksh3.1 million remaining.
Nderitu’s companies are said to have supplied almost nothing to NYS, despite receiving such hefty payments.
NYS lost more than Ksh9 billion in such scandals, which has seen several top officers resign to pave way for investigation
Over 40 individuals have been summoned, questioned and others charged to explain their role in the scandal.
Among them include former Principal Secretary in the State Department of Public Service and Youth, Lilian Omollo, and former National Youth Service Director General, Richard Ndubai.
Accountants, supplies management officials and procurement officers have also been arrested in connection to the scandal.