WINDHOEK – State Advocate Shakwa Nyambe yesterday accused Antoine Mbok, a Namibian of Cameroonian origin, of using delaying tactics in the High Court.
Nyambe is the prosecutor in the matter in which Mbok and another Namibian are in court over alleged fraud amounting to N$3,9 million.
Mbok (37) and Daniel David Nghiwilepo (40), a Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) employee, made an appearance before Justice Nate Ndauendapo yesterday. Mbok did not have legal representation.
Mbok told the court that his lawyer from Shikongo Law Chambers had said recused himself because of a conflict of interest. The firm is on the Standard Bank panel, while the bank is listed as one of the witnesses to testify, he informed the court yesterday.
Nyambe said the court should explore the matter further, as it seemed that Mbok was using delaying tactics.
He said while not blaming the lawyer, his attorney should have come to court to state under oath the point of the conflict of interest.
Justice Ndauendapo informed Mbok that he would give him two weeks to sort out his legal difficulties.
Mbok told the court that he had a dilemma, as most law firms were involved with Standard Bank in one way or another.
The matter was postponed to July 16.
The third accused in the matter, Veronika Kituna Thomas (39), a registry clerk in the Ministry of Finance, who in February this year admitted to charges of fraud and corruption involving a total amount of N$3.9 million, was sent to jail for eight years in March this year.
Thomas’ trial was separated from Nghiwilepo and Mbok’s.
Thomas pleaded guilty to the five counts at the start of the trial before High Court Judge Alfred Siboleka on February 10 2012
Thomas’ co-accused, Mbok and Nghiwilepo, each pleaded not guilty on 10 counts of fraud and corruption, and their case was separated from that of Thomas.
The trio is accused of defrauding several companies and government agencies of up to N$3,9 million in valued-added tax (VAT) and returns for import VAT.
During the period January 25, 2010 to February 18, 2010, five cheques were allegedly intercepted at the Ministry of Finance by Thomas and deposited into Mbok’s company account, called M Finance.
Information from the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), which was the investigating agency, says the five affected entities are: GS Fainsinger Associates and Consulting Engineers; the Ministry of Health and Social Services’ Global Fund; Edu Loan (now Letshego Financial Services Namibia); Kalahari Sands Hotel and Casino and Afrisam Cement Namibia that went bankrupt after one of its workers embezzled millions.
The ACC indicated that after the deposits were made, N$277 450 was withdrawn, while a further US$14 730 (about N$103 000) was transferred electronically to a company called Strong Technologies for the purchase of Strong Digital Satellite Receivers in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.
At the time when the deposits were made into the account of the second accused (Mbok’s company, M Finance), several names of depositors were allegedly used by the accused to conceal the nature, origin, location, disposition and movement of the property, the ACC stated.
Mbok is currently free on bail, while Nghwilepo is free on a warning.
Boris Isaaks is representing Nghiwilepo.