Mandago summoned by court in KSh1b Finland education scandal

Uasin Gishu Senator Jackson Mandago

Uasin Gishu Senator Jackson Mandago and two others were on Wednesday June 12 summoned at a Nakuru court in relation to the KSh1.1 billion Finland education programme scandal case.

While Mandago was absent, his co-defendants Meshack Rono and Joshua Lelei were present in front of Senior Principal Magistrate Peter Ndege. Rono holds the position of Deputy Director of the County Education Revolving Fund Trustee, and Lelei is a county official.

The conditions of the bond for the Senator and his co-defendants necessitated their presence in court on July 1, to start a trial that would last four days.

Nonetheless, it was brought to the court’s attention that a mention notice from the prosecution, dated June 3, had been served to them, requiring their appearance in court yesterday. Per the letter addressed to the Chief Magistrate of Nakuru, it was the intention of the Director of Public Prosecution, Renson Ingonga, to submit an application related to the case.

“Kindly have the matter fixed for mention on June 12, as we intend to make an application under instructions from the DPP. All the parties and lawyers interested in this matter are at the moment duly notified,” read the letter signed by Prosecutor Angeline Chinga.

Yet, the prosecution group, under the leadership of David Okach, stated that they hadn’t received any additional directives from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) regarding the supposed application. The court questioned the prosecution about their reasons for summoning the accused individuals.

“These courts are concerned. Can you inform us of the contents of the application that has led to the case being mentioned today?” asked Ndege.

“I have no further instructions. My instructions are limited,” said Okach. He also appealed to the court to postpone the case until July 1, unless they are given additional directives from the DPP.


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The defense team, headed by Stephen Kibungei, expressed their surprise at the mention notice and the fact that they were, despite respecting the court, the application.

“We participated in pre-trial direction and we were given July 1 as the date to come to court. We hope the same trial dates will be honoured and the prosecution will avail witnesses,” said Kibungei.

Ndege expressed his apologies to the defendants for the inconvenience. He stated that it was inappropriate to summon the trio through a letter without obtaining the court’s consent. He implored the prosecution not to submit any further applications.

“The hearing will commence on July 1 as scheduled. We hope the prosecution will make no other application,” said Ndege.

Mandago and his co-defendants have refuted 10 accusations related to conspiracy to commit theft, theft, misuse of office, and forgery in the saga of the Finland education programme. The senator was accused of the charges related to the Finland education programme on August 16 last year and arraigned in court, the following day.

The indictment suggests that the trio plotted to embezzle KSh1.1 billion from KCB Bank in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu, during the period from March 1, 2021, to September 12, 2022. The funds in the account were reportedly earmarked for the county’s overseas university tuition for students participating in the education programme.

It is alleged that Mandago misused his position from March 1, 2021, to March 31, 2022, during which he supposedly signed a memorandum of understanding with universities in Finland and Canada representing his government, without obtaining consent from the county assembly.

Rono and Lelei are alleged to have embezzled KSh56.5 million from the KCB Eldoret Branch during the period from June 2021 to 12th September 2022.The trio has been released on a cash bail amounting to KSh500, 000.

Mandago was accused of the charges related to the Finland education programme on August 1 last year and arraigned in court, the following day.

By Frank Mugwe

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