A Kenyan businesswoman, accused of defrauding a Nigerian investor named Jude Olabwayo Veracruz of approximately Ksh 25 million, made a startling revelation in court. She claimed that the complainant is her husband.

This disclosure left lead prosecutor Naomi Wanjiru momentarily speechless.

“The complainant in this case is my husband. There is no fraud here. A husband gives his wife money for various needs, including supporting her business. How is this theft? This is a domestic matter,” said Faith Mwikali Ndiwa in court.

Mwikali, who faces charges of defrauding Veracruz of Ksh 25 million, asked the court to release her on bail, insisting that she has no intention of fleeing the country. “I cannot run away from my own country. Where would I go?” she asked.

Through her three lawyers, Mwikali informed the court that the police had misled the court by claiming they did not know her residence in Nairobi, while they were well aware she lives with her husband, Veracruz.

She argued before Milimani Senior Principal Magistrate Ben Mark Ekhubi that bail is a right for every accused person and she should not be detained on weak grounds.

She pleaded with the magistrate to use his authority to grant her bail.

However, Prosecutor Wanjiru opposed the bail request, stating that Mwikali had been evading the police since 2022.

The court heard that the police had to use close friends of the accused to reach her, which eventually led to her arrest.

The court was also informed that Mwikali’s passport showed she had frequently traveled abroad.

In response, Mwikali argued through police officer Constable Okoth, who is investigating the case, that “Kenyan citizens are legally allowed to own passports.”

Mwikali appeared in court on Monday, facing charges of defrauding Veracruz of Ksh 25 million in a scam involving the sale of treated mosquito nets to the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (Kemsa).

Mwikali is accused of showing Veracruz a contract for supplying treated mosquito nets to Kemsa in the fight against malaria.

The contracts were allegedly awarded to her two companies, Ashley Dylan Limited and Faizel Limited.

Prosecutor Wanjiru informed the court that Mwikali had told Veracruz that her companies, Ashley Dylan and Faizel, had won tender number IFT NO GF ATM MAL NFM-19/20-OIT-004 for supplying long-lasting insecticide-treated nets (LLINs) to Kemsa.

Wanjiru further stated that Veracruz told the police that Mwikali had claimed the contract was awarded to her through her relative, Raila Odinga, and that she was short of funds.

Allegedly, Mwikali persuaded Veracruz to provide the money needed to complete the tender, promising significant profits in return.

Veracruz gave Mwikali Ksh 25 million, only to realize later that he had been defrauded.

Mwikali denied eight charges of defrauding Veracruz between June and December 2022 in Nairobi County.

She requested bail, but Prosecutor Wanjiru objected, stating that police officer Eunice Njue, who is investigating the case along with other officers, “needs time to present an affidavit explaining why the accused should not be granted bail.”

The senior magistrate ordered that Mwikali be held at Lang’ata Women’s Prison until Wednesday (today), when the court will decide whether she will be granted bail.

Magistrate Ekhubi also instructed the probation department to submit a report on Mwikali before deciding on her bail application.