Court lifts orders freezing Lenolkulal's accounts

In Summary

• Court declined to unfreeze two other accounts of the governor.

Samburu Governor Moses Lenolkulal.
Samburu Governor Moses Lenolkulal.
Image: FILE

The High Court has lifted orders freezing two bank accounts of Samburu Governor Moses Lenolkulal in a Sh1.6 billion case.

However the court declined to unfreeze two other accounts of the governor.

Justice John Onyiego yesterday said the entire record of the commission attached documents, he was unable to find bank statements or documents relating to account numbers 1104311989 and 12370864.

"I'm unable to find bank statements or documents relating to account numbers 11043119899 and 123708647. There is no proof whether there is any money in those accounts and it is suspected to be out of illegitimate means," the judge  ruled.

The court said that the commission must on a prima facie basis establish a link between the money in those accounts and the money obtained in Samburu county government.  

“The commission cannot be allowed to causally walk in court with scanty information or evidence and seek to generally attach anything and everything in the name of a suspect under investigation based on a single suspicion of financial transaction.

Kenyans have a right to invest and transactions in questions should be treated separately from other legitimate transactions, the judge said. 

While declining to unfreeze the other two accounts, the judge said the statement attached by the commission showed that indeed money from Samburu county government was paid to Oryx service station account number 1124724591. He said that it was also evidenced by the bank statements attached. 

However, the judge said there is link between money transferred from Oryx bank accounts to the governor’s bank account 1103831208 and 1108168841.

“ It is my finding that there was reasonable suspicion that the money may have been obtained through illegitimate means hence the justification to issue freezing orders. In respect of the two account numbers," Onyiego ruled.

 

The judge added that the fact that such money is mixed with legitimate sources  of income like salary  which goes through account number 1103831208 does not mean the account cannot be frozen.

In March, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission in an application told the court that its preliminary investigations established Lenolkulal paid Sh673 million to numerous companies associated with or owned by county employees.

Between January 2013 and December 2018, the companies tendered and were awarded high value contracts by the county government of Samburu.