EACC gets orders to attach Obado luxury cars, Loresho house

Anti-graft agency goes for Migori county boss' assets to help recover Sh73.4 million

In Summary

• Judge James Wakiaga set June 3 as the date for the hearing of the EACC application, which the courts have certified as urgent.

• The EACC argued that the Loresho Ridge house and two Toyota Land Cruisers are proceeds of corruption and economic crimes.

Migori Governor Okoth Obado.
Migori Governor Okoth Obado.
Image: FILE

A court has attached Migori Governor Okoth Obado’s two luxury cars and house in an effort by the anti-graft agency to recover Sh73.4 million.

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission believes that the county chief spent public resources or the same is held by his relatives or proxies.

The EACC argued that the Loresho Ridge house and two Toyota Land Cruisers (KCK 997W, KCK 722B) are proceeds of corruption and economic crimes.

Justice James Wakiaga on Friday issued a temporary injunction restraining the governor or his agents, servants, employees or any person from transacting on the assets.

The court barred “any other person whosoever” from alienating, selling, charging or further charging, leasing, developing, sub-dividing, wasting, transferring, disposing of or in any other way dealing with the Loresho Ridge house.

The order, which also applies to the two cars, will remain in force pending an inter-parties hearing of the application by the EACC.

Judge Wakiaga set June 3, as the date for the hearing of the EACC application, which the courts have certified as urgent.

He directed that the orders be served upon the defendants in the case. They are Evelyne Adhiambo Zachary, Dan Achola Okoth, Scarlet Okoth, and Jerry Zachary Okoth.

Jared Kwaga was listed as the director of 16 companies that were awarded fictitious tenders by the county government of Migori and were paid millions of shillings.

The EACC holds that the companies only existed on paper, had no physical offices and employees and were under the control of one director – Kwaga, adding that Obado abused his office to perpetuate the alleged crimes.

It further indicated that the companies’ accounts pointed to a money-laundering scheme to disguise the source of the money the sleuths seek to recover.

The anti-corruption commission had sought logbooks of Obado’s two vehicles and rent from the Loresho property – to the tune of about Sh143,000 per month.

It sought to sell the vehicles and have the rent deposited in an account until the case is heard and determined.

In respect of the Sh73.4 million, the agency says the governor registered several companies together with his relatives and proxies, through which they irregularly procured county contracts.

Investigations by the anti-graft agency revealed that some Sh38.9 million was wired to accounts held by the governor’s three children.

Part of it was allegedly used to purchase the vehicles, according to the EACC, while the rest was paid to a pension fund – and used to buy the house.

“Investigations established that the defendants colluded and devised a scheme to misappropriate and embezzle public funds of the county government of Migori,” the EACC said.

Obado and his four children were released on a Sh45 million bail last year following their arraignment on charges of graft.

The Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act (ACECA, 2003), EACC Act, 2011, and Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Act, 2009 (POCAMLA) provides for forfeiture of crime proceeds to the government.

Obado is also facing a murder charge following the killing of his pregnant girlfriend Sharon Otieno in September 2018.