Nakuru — Uasin Gishu Senator Jackson Mandago along with two co-accused have been arraigned in a Nakuru court over Sh 1.1 billion Finland Scholarship Programme scam after spending night in custody.
The arraignment comes a day after Senator Mandago was apprehended by detectives after the Directorate of Public Prosecutions issued a warrant for his arrest over the scandal that has put him on a collision course with the victims who have demanded accountability for their monies.
He was arrested alongside top county officials, Joshua Lelei and Meshack Rono who have been implicated in the scam.
The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) revealed Wednesday that the fourth suspect Joseph Maritim is believed to have sneaked out of the country at the height of the investigation.
Earlier, the trio had failed to appear in court to face charges of conspiracy to commit a felony, abuse of office among other charges, prompting a warrant of arrest to be issued for their immediate arrest.
“Sleuths from the Financial Investigations Unit launched a manhunt for the three who engaged them in cat and mouse games, before the suspects opted to surrender when they ran out of ideas,” the DCI said.
On Wednesday President William Ruto asserted that any individuals found culpable of embezzling funds from parents and students in the Finland scholarship programme must take responsibility for their actions.
Senator Jackson Mandago who has been linked to the Finland Scholarship programme is a close ally of President Ruto.
Nonetheless, the Head of State has made it clear that everyone involved in the scandal will be held to account.
“Kama kuna mtu alikula iyo pesa ajipange kulipa mapema ama ataingia taabani,” (Anyone who stole the hard-earned money earmarked for the education of the residents’ children should be prepared to reimburse all of the stolen sums to the last coin)
He promised to step in to offer financial support to the affected students upon the completion of the ongoing investigations into the saga.
However, President Ruto emphasized that his commitment to providing financial assistance will not shield those responsible for the scholarship scam
“I will not allow them(suspects) to get away with this crime,” Ruto asserted labeling their actions as deeply embarrassing.