NHIF Boss,Director to spend another night in remand pending bail ruling

Court will deliver its ruling tomorrow on whether two top officials at the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) charged with disobedience of court orders will be releases on bail.
NHIF Chief Executive Officer Geoffrey Gitau Mwangi and Finance Director Wilbert Kiplangat Kurgat suspected to be involved in the multimillion scam were also charged with conspiracy to defeat justice.

Plea objection

This comes a day after the defense lawyers objected plea taking by their clients on grounds that the charges did not meet the constitutional threshold.
They alleged that the charges as drawn were defective and did not meet the standards of the constitution.
However, Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi ruled that the charges as drafted can always be amended.
The officials are accused of disobeying a lawful order issued by Honorable Resident Magistrate Sinkiyian Tobiko on 25th September 2018 in miscellaneous Criminal application No. 3569/2018 requiring production for scrutiny of any book/s of evidential value in connection with investigations beingĀ  undertaken by DCI.
The accused are alleged to have committed the offense on 21st November 2018 at NHIF Headquarters along Ragati road, Upperhill within Nairobi county.
Mwangi and Kurgat are also accused of conspiring to defeat justice by knowingly preventing the execution of the court order by RM Tobiko between 26th September and 23rd November 2018.
The two pleaded not guilty to the charges.
According to the investigators, Mwangi sent an SMS to Kurgat directing him not to share the documents demanded by the investigators.

Bail application

While applying for the release of the clients on bail, the lawyers submitted that bail is a constitutional right adding that an accused person is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
It was the defense submission that the two will not interfere with investigations.
The prosecution objected their release on bond on grounds that the two have demonstrated that they are persons who can not obey court orders.
The officials are accused of refusing to surrender payment vouchers and other books of evidential value in relation to payment of millions of shillings to Webtribe Company Limited.
Pursuant to the orders, the police searched offices and private residences of senior officers at NHIF including those of the accuses persons and recovered several vital documents which have since been retained by the investigators.
Failure to obey the orders has stalled the investigations and the accused should be denied bail to protect the integrity of the trial.

According to the prosecution, it would utterly be impossible to have the matters under investigations expeditiously investigated with the two accused persons out on bail since they hold key positions at the parastatal and would not as already demonstrated, cooperate with investigators.

The prosecution also applied that the two be barred from accessing their offices. They also want the two barred from communicating with/calling any current or former NHIF staff.
In addition, they want the officials ordered to deposit passportĀ  in court and not to leave the jurisdiction of the court without its permission.