GRAFT PROBE

Sonko, contractor record conflicting statements with EACC

EACC released a complex paper trail detailing how Sonko received Sh39 million from several companies

In Summary

• Some firms that began wiring money to Sonko's account before 2017 elections are now doing business with his administration, which EACC calls conflict of interest. 

• Contractor says Sh3 million he transferred to Sonko was for a three-year lease for land. Sonko says it was two years.

 

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko during the launch of patient queuing system at Mama Lucy Hospital in Embakasi West subcounty on November 28, 2019.
Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko during the launch of patient queuing system at Mama Lucy Hospital in Embakasi West subcounty on November 28, 2019.
Image: COURTESY

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko and a contractor, whose companies are believed to have been used as conduits to siphon public funds, have recorded conflicting statements with the anti-graft detectives.

Sonko and Antony Mwaura, the proprietor of Hardi Enterprise Limited and Toddy Civil Engineering Company Limited, recorded statements with clear discrepancies.

The two recorded statements with the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission concerning investigations into graft allegations involving the governor, other top officials in his administration and directors of a number of companies. 

 

EACC sources at Integrity Centre said the investigation file could be sent to DPP Noordin Haji anytime.

Detectives have released a complex paper trail that they say details how Sonko received Sh39 million from several companies.

Some of the firms that began wiring money to Sonko's account before the 2017 elections are now doing business with his administration.

EACC says this amounts to a conflict of interest.

In court documents filed by EACC assistant director in charge of forensic investigations Simon Cherpka, Sonko denies personally knowing Mwaura whose Hardi Enterprise Company was paid Sh357.39 million between October 11, 2018, and March 13.

The payments, which were made on various dates by the Nairobi county government, were purportedly for garbage collected by the firm. 

According to the documents, upon the receipt of the Sh357.39 million, Mwaura transferred Sh58.80 million to Toddy Civil Engineering Company Limited, a firm he admitted to the investigators he co-owns with his wife Rose Njeri. 

 

Later, last year on December 17, Mwaura transferred Sh3 million to Governor Sonko’s bank account at Equity Bank, the documents show.

Sonko denied knowing the owner of Hardi Enterprises but admitted knowing the proprietor of Toddy Civil Engineering Company Limited.

Sonko said he knew Mwaura of Toddy Limited describing him as a man he has done business with. 

Sonko said Mwaura was among the people who bankrolled his campaign in the run-up to the August 8, 2017, elections.

The investigations further revealed that besides the Sh3 million Mwaura sent to the governor’s account, the businessman had also said in the statement that he had sent another Sh8.6 million to Sonko before his election in 2017. 

The money, according to Mwaura, included Sh5 million that was an advance payment made for land that Sonko was acquiring along Mombasa Road behind the Titles and Carpets shop. Sonko was supposed to subdivide the plot and give him his share for the money he gave the governor.

“I am aware of a company called Toddy Civil Engineering Company Ltd. That the director of the Company is Mwaura who is personally known to me. That is a different Mwaura from the contact person (Mwaura) of Hardi Enterprises whom I have never met but have occasionally contacted through telephone in respect to garbage collection services provided by his company,” Sonko's statement read.

“It is evident from the said payments that Mwaura and Sonko have a history of pecuniary support and business association which they apparently extended to fraudulent transactions with the county government during Sonko's tenure,” Cherpka said in a replying affidavit to a suit filed by the governor seeking to stop the commission from investigating him. 

But Mwaura, when asked about his relationship with Sonko, told the detectives, “I do not have any personal or business relationship with the governor.”

Concerning the Sh3 million transferred to the governor’s account last year on December 17, Mwaura said the money was advanced for a piece of land he leased from the governor as a yard to park heavy equipment in Kwale. 

He noted that the lease was for three years but he has not physically moved to the site. 

But Sonko in his statement contradicted Mwaura saying the lease was to run for two years. 

Further, the governor stated that Mwaura has taken possession of the land where he currently keeps his equipment. 

But according to investigations by the commission, the land is a bush and has never been used for the stated or any other purpose.

“Investigations established that the land is inaccessible by road, the terrain is hilly and covered by bush,” Cherpka noted. 

During the period under investigation, Amaco Insurance received Sh158 million, Yiro Enterprises Ltd (Sh103 million) and Web Tribe (Sh102 million) from City Hall.

Amaco sent Sh23.3 million to Arbab Auto Ltd which in turn sent Sonko Sh17 million.

Yiro Enterprises Ltd and Web Tribe sent Sh14.1 million and Sh10 million, respectively, to ROG Securities Ltd.

Out of this cumulated amounts, ROG sent Sh10.4 million to Sonko.

Arbab and ROG Security Ltd are both owned by Anthony Otieno Ombok AKA Jamal.

Edited by R.Wamochie