Former REREC Manager Denies Acquiring Kes.1.4 Million Salary Using Forged Academic Papers

April 4, 2024

Yesterday, the Milimani anti-corruption court arraigned a former Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy Corporation (REREC) manager for allegedly forging academic papers to secure the job.

Noah Oluoch Oketch, previously the Finance and ICT Manager for the government parastatal, stood before Chief Magistrate Thomas Nzioki, facing charges of unlawfully receiving a salary from the electricity distributing agency for five months through fraud.

He was charged with unlawfully obtaining a salary and allowance totaling Kes.1,445,066 from the agency, having been employed using a forged degree certificate.

The charge sheet indicated that Noah Oluoch had forged a master’s degree in business administration and finance from the University of Nairobi.

Oluoch denied three counts filed against him; he refuted the allegation that between April 1 and August 31, 2022, while serving as the General Manager of Finance and ICT at REREC, he fraudulently acquired public funds amounting to Kes. 1,455,066 in salary using a forged degree certificate to secure the job.

The second charge accused him of forging a Master of Business Administration Degree Certificate Number 0217 with the intention to deceive, at an unknown location within the Republic of Kenya.

Oluoch denied a third count of uttering (presenting) the said forged master’s degree certificate to the Chief Executive Officer of REREC with the intention to deceive. The charge stated that he falsely represented the said degree as a genuine one issued by the University of Nairobi.

Bail Application

In his bail/bond application, the accused requested to be released on a reasonable cash bail of Kes.70,000, contending that he was not a flight risk.

Oluoch asserted that he had cooperated with investigators from the EACC since August 2022. He stated that he had been out on a personal bond and had attended interrogation sessions as directed.

He appealed for a lenient bail term, stating that he is a family man residing in Lang’ata with a wife, and children who attend schools in Nairobi.

Oluoch also mentioned that he has a strong rural attachment and declared, “I cannot flee this court’s jurisdiction.”

He vowed to deposit his passport in court as a demonstration of good character.

State prosecutor Caroline Kimiri did not oppose the release of the accused person on bond but urged the court to impose stringent terms.

Court Ruling

In his Wednesday ruling, Mr. Nzioki directed the accused to deposit a bond of Kes.1 million with one surety of a similar amount, or an alternative cash bail of Kes.500,000.

Nzioki further directed Noah Oluoch Oketch to deposit his passport within seven days. He also issued an order that the accused should not leave the jurisdiction of the court without its express permission.

The magistrate scheduled the case for pre-trial directions on April 17, 2024.

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