Release me back to my wife, newlywed charged with stealing millions pleads


A one-week-old husband Wycliffe Mwangi Githinji charged with stealing Sh39.9m pleads to be freed on bond to reunite with his newly wedded wife.

Photo credit: Richard Munguti| NMG

What you need to know:

  • Wycliffe Mwangi Githinji was arrested on Valentine's Day and accused of stealing Sh39,904,841 from his employer.
  • Githinji allegedly stole the money between January 1, 2022 and December 7, 2023.

An accountant who was arrested barely a week after stealing Sh39.9 million has pleaded with a magistrate to release him on bail to reunite him with his new wife.

"I plead with this court to release Wycliffe Mwangi Githinji, aged 30, who was arrested on Valentine's Day, on reasonable bail so that he can be reunited with his wife who is just one week after saying 'I do'," a lawyer disclosed while pleading for his release on bail.

Githinji, who was arraigned before Milimani Senior Principal Magistrate Bernard Ochoi, claimed that his right to liberty was violated by the police who arrested him on Valentine's Day and detained him for five days before taking him to court.

"Githinji did not enjoy Valentine's Day as he was arrested and detained far beyond the constitutional requirement of 24 hours," Mr Ochoi said.

The magistrate was urged to take judicial notice of the complaint.

But State Prosecutor James Gachoka urged the magistrate to disregard the complaint because it was an affidavit from the bar and "there is no accompanying affidavit to show that the suspect was detained beyond the mandatory 24 hours when suspects are supposed to be arraigned."

In a short ruling, Mr Ochoi released Githinji on a Sh5 million bail with a surety of a similar sum or an alternative cash bail of Sh3 million with a surety of the same amount.

Mwangi Githinji denied stealing Sh39,904,841 from his employer Chemi and Cotex (K) Limited. The company produces Whitedent, Bodyline, Baby Soft, Skin Glow, and Siri among others.

Githinji allegedly stole the money over a period of two years between January 1, 2022 and December 7, 2023.

In the same court, another accountant Joshua Kipruto Ngetich was charged with stealing Sh6.8 million from the African Airlines Association (AAA).

Ng'etich was also accused of stealing Sh6,860,581 within two years between January 2022 and December 31, 2023.

While applying for his release on bail, Mr Ng'etich said he has a young family for which he is the sole provider.

He promised to abide by the bail conditions imposed, saying he resides in Langata, Nairobi while his parents live in Syokimau, Machakos County.

Prosecutor Gachoka did not oppose his release on bail but requested a pre-trial report, saying there was conflicting information about the accused's place of residence.

His lawyer claimed that Mr Ng'etich lives in the Pacific area within Syokimau, while police claim he lives in Lang'ata.

However, the lawyer clarified that he had misled the court that the suspect resides in Syokimau.

"I withdraw Ng'etich's place of residence. He lives in a rented house in Lang'ata and not in Syokimau. His parents are the ones who live in Syokimau. I withdraw that submission with apologies to the court for misleading it," the defense lawyer clarified.

Mr Ochoi, however, ordered that the accused be remanded in prison custody till February 21, 2024, when a pre-trial report will be taken before he can decide whether or not to release the accountant on bail.

Mr Ochoi ordered the two accountants to testify and set the case for a preliminary hearing within two weeks.