Joe Kariuki faces charges related to a fraudulent scheme involving counterfeit fertilizer

Joe Kariuki

Today, Josiah Kariuki Kimani, the Director of SBL Innovate Manufacturers LTD and Fifty-One Capital (K) Limited, faced charges for reportedly producing, distributing, and vending low-quality fertilizer.

Appearing before the Milimani Anti-Corruption Magistrate Celesa Okore, he was charged with 7 counts, including conspiracy to defraud, forgery, uttering false documents, applying a standardization mark to a commodity that does not comply with Kenyan standards and others.

He pleaded not guilty to all the charges. The prosecution through Robert Ogallo opposed his release on bail, citing that the accused’s life might be in danger and also taking into account the seriousness of the offenses.

It is alleged that on 12th January, 2023, at an unknown location within the Republic of Kenya, jointly with others not before court with intent to deceive Kenya Bureau of Standards Nakuru Region offices, forged an agreement, namely value-adding soil amendment and conditioner to organic fertilizer and animal supplement, purporting it to be a genuine, valid agreement signed between SBL Innovate Manufacturers Ltd. and African Diatomite Industries Limited.

Kimani was further charged with forging a standardization mark number 14617 in the name of 51 Capital, African Diatomite K Limited purporting it to be a genuine standardisation mark issued by KBS.

The fertiliser distributer and manufacturer denied presenting the forged agreement at the Nakuru offices claiming he had been authorised to add soil and animal supplements to fertiliser.

Mr Okore heard that the accused also presented to the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) the forged standardisation mark.

The company chief is accused of applying for another standardisation mark number 69392 for manufacturing of organic fertiliser that failed to meet the requirements of organic fertiliser specifications.

Mr Kimani presented himself before the court following an order issued last week, when the Managing Director of NCPB Joseph Muna Kimote was charged alongside two others over the sale of 139,688 bags of 25kgs of fake fertiliser valued at Sh 209,532,000.

Principal Magistrate Hon.Celesa A. Okore will deliver her ruling tomorrow, 7th May 2024 at 9 am. The accused will remain in police custody until tomorrow.

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