Migori speaker among 10 arrested over graft

In Summary

•They will spend the night at Central police station.

•This is after appearing before chief magistrate Peter Gesora over alleged fraud involving taxpayer money amounting to Sh44 million.

Homa Bay county assembly.
Homa Bay county assembly.
Image: FILE

At least 10 people were arrested in Migori on Tuesday, including county assembly speaker Boaz Okoth and his deputy Matnews Chacha.

They will spend the night at Central police station.

This is after appearing before chief magistrate Peter Gesora over alleged fraud involving taxpayer money amounting to Sh44 million.

 

Others are members of Migori county assembly service board - Roland Asiga, Nicholas Rioba, Clifford Jobando and Meressa Akello.

They were charged with conspiracy to commit the offence of corruption in the first count.

The speaker, board chiarman, deputy speaker, board members and supply chain officers respectively are said to have conspired to commit an offence of corruption, namely misappropriation of Sh 10 milliom public funds from Migori county assembly between May 23, 2019 and July 15, 2019.

They were also charged with willful failure to comply with the laws relating to management of public funds in the second count.

"Between 19th July and October 2019, being speaker and board Chairman, Deputy speaker and board members, all Migori County willfully failed to comply with applicable law and procedures relating to management of public funds by directing the clerk to expend funds appropriated for development purposes in payment of recurrent expenditures amounting to Sh25.3 million.

Current acting assembly clerk Emanuel Kingwara in the third and fourth count was charged of willful failure to comply with laws relating to procurement and management of public funds.

The court heard that between February 20 and May 7, he initiated procurement and award of a contract for construction of Migori County assembly speaker's residence which had not been budgeted for.

 

The court documents state that he also transferred funds requisitioned for development expenditure for payment of recurrent activities amounting to Sh25.3 million.

Kingwara was also charged with abuse of office where he used his office to improperly confer a benefit of Sh13. 4million to M/S Guumba Contractors Limited.

In the sixth and seventh count, suspended clerk Tom Onyango was also charged with abuse of office.

The court heard that Onyango on June 27 at Migori County Assembly used his office to improperly confer a benefit of Sh6.5 million.

Okelo in the eighth count was charged with deceiving a principle while in the ninth and 10th count Pamawe Construction Company, Wanna and Kibuthi were charged with fraudulent acquisition of the public property.

Through their lawyers, Bruce Odeny, Nelson Jura, Paul Ogendi and Erick Ojuro they pleaded with the court to release their clients on favourable bond terms.

"I pray that my clients be released on a reasonable bond terms arguing that since the investigation began the accused never acted in any way meant to frustrate the investigation," said Jura.

On his side, Odeny told the court that the first accused who is the speaker has been having health issues for the last eight months.

The court however failed to grant them bail and their bond request hearing will be heard on Wednesday.