Corruption

EACC Wins First Round In Sh35 Million Case Against Governor Obado

EACC obtains orders to seize Ksh 35M property linked to Obado

The Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission (EACC) has obtained orders to seize a 35 million shillings property in Loresho owned by Jared Kwaga who is suspected to be Migori Governor Okoth Obado’s proxy.

According to EACC the property was bought using funds embezzled from Migori County by Kwaga.

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EACC says Kwaga, together with his family members, had incorporated many companies to fraudulently trade with the county.

At the same time EACC established that the tenant at the said Loresho property owned by Kwaga, was paying rent to Evelyne Zachary, Governor Obado’s daughter.
Based on the evidence the anti-corruption body says it has reasonable suspicion to believe that the governor is the true beneficiary.

The obtained preservation orders will ensure that the property will not be transferred, disposed or in any other way dealt with to defeat the course of justice before EACC completes its investigations and commences civil proceedings.

Through lawyer Phillip Kagucia, the EACC told the court that it was investigating allegations that public officers in the Migori County government, in collusion with private contractors, had engaged in a fraudulent scheme to embezzle public funds through inflated or fictitious procurement contracts.

Consequently, he added, the said public officers, their associates and private contractors have accumulated illicit wealth.

He said further investigations had established that Mr Kwaga used the illicit money to acquire the property for Sh34,525,000.

“The applicant is apprehensive that the 1st Respondent (Kwaga), in light of the ongoing investigations, may in the intervening period, transfer, dispose or in any other way deal with the properties to defeat the course of justice, before the commission has completed its investigations,” he said.

EACC had earlier told the court that the businessman is one of the proxies who have been used by Mr Obado to siphon more than Sh2 billion through manipulation of the county’s procurement system.

Mr Kwaga is among 10 individuals and companies believed to have made over Sh2 billion through Migori County tenders before wiring some proceeds back to Mr Obado and his family.

The anti-graft agency reckons it has established that firms associated with known proxies of Mr Obado, including Mr Kwaga, were systematically awarded high value contracts, between 2013 and 2017.

“Out of the monies cited hereinabove, the 1st Respondent applied a sum of Sh34,525,000.00, towards the acquisition of a property in Nairobi County referred to as, Loresho Ridge,” Mr Kagucia said.

EACC said there are reasonable grounds to suspect that the house was acquired as a result of corrupt conduct and is, consequently, an unexplained asset.

It is in the interests of justice to prohibit the respondents, their agents, servants or any other persons from transferring or disposing of or otherwise dealing with Loresho Ridge house,” EACC submitted.


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