Jobs scam: Prisons officer Grace Nyamohanga freed on Sh2m cash bail

Kenya Prisons Senior Sergeant Grace Nyamohanga, alias Nasra, at the Milimani Law Courts on June 7, 2021.

Photo credit: Dennis Onsongo | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • All the five denied charges of fraudulently obtaining Sh48,540,000 from members of the public who were promised jobs in government agencies.

Three prison warders and two civilians implicated in a multi-million shilling jobs fraud racket were charged in court on Monday.

Senior Sergeant Grace Nyamohanga alias Nasra, and prison warders Jackson Mureithi Manyara and Zachary Kimathi Cosma faced Milimani Senior Principal Magistrate Kennedy Cheruiyot.

They were charged alongside Sylvester David Masiaga, who is Ms Nyamohanga’s nephew, and Peter Ngere Githu.

All the five denied charges of fraudulently obtaining Sh48,540,000 from members of the public who were promised jobs in government agencies.

Kenya Prisons senior sergeant Grace Nyamohanga

Kenya Prisons senior sergeant Grace Nyamohanga, alias Nasra, at the Milimani Law Courts in Nairobi on June 7, 2021.

Photo credit: Richard Munguti | Nation Media Group

The crimes

Detective Nicholas ole Sena filed 72 counts against the five and presented evidence showing they pretended they were in a position to secure employment for the victims at several organisations.

The organisations included the Kenya Airports Authority, the National Police Service, the National Lands Commission and the Kenya National Highways Authority, the Anti-Counterfeit Agency, KenGen and the Nairobi Metropolitan Services.

Evidence presented by the prosecution showed that over Sh22 million was held in Mr Manyara’s account while Mr Masiaga processed over Sh15 million through his.

“I urge this court to consider the number of charges filed against the accused plus the severity of the punishment while granting bail,” the prosecution stated.

From right: Kenya Prisons Senior Sergeant Grace Nyamohanga, alias Nasra, (right), Jackson Mureithi Mayara, Zachary Kimathi Cosma, Peter Ngere Githu and Sylvester David Masiaga at the Milimani Law Courts on June 7, 2021.

Photo credit: Dennis Onsongo | Nation Media Group

Defence arguments

Defence lawyers Victor Olao and Jason Orina Maranga applied for bail for the accused, saying they were sickly.

The prosecution did not oppose the application.

The defence lawyers asked the court not to be swayed by the amounts appearing in the charge sheet.

Quoting various authorities, Mr Olao added that bail should not be punitive. He also noted that Ms Nyamohanga underwent a surgery and had not yet recovered so her bail terms could not be stringent.

Mr Maranga noted that the serving prison officers had fixed abodes and that severe bail terms amounted to infringement of their constitutional rights.

“Sgt Nyamohanga is a guardian of Mr Masiaga, who is jobless, and will bear the burden of depositing bail for him. Be lenient to her,” he added.

Kenya Prisons Senior Sergeant Grace Nyamohanga, alias Nasra, at the Milimani Law Courts on June 7, 2021.

Photo credit: Dennis Onsongo | Nation Media Group

Bond and bail

The accused were charged with fraudulently receiving large sums of money at the Industrial Area Prison staff quarters in Nairobi between September 1, 2020 and March 31.

Sgt Nyamohanga and Mr Masiaga denied receiving Sh4.6 million from Margaret Mbula, alleging they would secure employment for 14 job seekers in various parastatals.

Sgt Nyamohanga also denied receiving Sh1million from Nahashon Kiarie Njane, claiming she would secure employment for his three children at the Anti-Counterfeit Agency.

Mr Cheruiyot released each of the two on a bond of Sh4 million with a surety of the same amount or Sh2 million cash bail.

The other three accused persons were each freed on a cash bail of Sh500,000 or a bond of Sh2 million with one surety of the same amount.

The case will be mentioned on June 21.

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