DPP Withdraws Charges Against 13 in Sh122 Million Adverts Theft Case

January 31, 2024
Kakamega Deputy Governor Ayub Savula with former ICT Principal Secretary Sammy Itemere before Nairobi chief magistrate Lucas Onyina on Tuesday, January 30, 2024

The Director of Public Prosecutions has dropped charges against 13 suspects in a Sh122 million case involving Kakamega Deputy Governor Ayub Savula.

On Tuesday, the prosecutor informed Nairobi chief magistrate Lucas Onyina that a review of the charges against 13 of the 30 suspects, who were charged in 2018 with the theft of Sh122 million from the Government Advertising Agency, revealed insufficient evidence to sustain the charges.

Consequently, the state applied to the court for the withdrawal of charges against former ICT Principal Secretary Sammy Itemere, Edith Nkanata, Amos Matanga, Gladys Bwora, Gladys Mwanyika, Jesca Ateka, Rachael Wanjiru, Nellie Kibocha, Sammy Makau, Martin Njoroge, Hannah Wangari, Edmundi Munene, and Victor Owino.

They faced charges ranging from abuse of office, theft, conspiracy to steal, and conspiracy to commit a felony.

However, Mr. Savula and his two wives(Melody Gatwiri Ringera and Hellen Kepkor Kemboi), former GAA director Dennis Chebitwey, and the remaining six suspects are not off the hook, as the case against them will proceed to a full conclusion.

Companies Associated with Savula and his Spouses

In the suit, seven companies associated with Savula and his spouses were accused of fraudulently obtaining Sh122,335,500 by falsely representing that they could provide advertising services in magazines with a wide circulation in Kenya. The accused allegedly knew this information to be false.

The charges also included conspiring to steal the money on various dates between July 1, 2015, and August 30, 2018, at the State Department for broadcasting in Nairobi.

In withdrawing the charges, the DPP announced plans to expedite the case against Savula and his wives.

“I pray this court to admit this application and give two weeks for the amendment of the charge sheet against the remaining accused,” said the prosecutor.

The defense lawyers for those acquitted did not oppose the application but expressed dissatisfaction that it had taken over six years to resolve the matter since the 13 were initially arraigned in 2018.

Chief Magistrate Onyina said he would deliver a ruling on the DPP’s application on Monday.

The court has also scheduled April 22 for the hearing of the matter. Nine witnesses are expected to testify before the prosecution concludes its case.

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