HEARING RESUMES THURSDAY

Obado graft case: DPP says Sh256m stolen from Migori county

Mugambi directs that in future hearings, all accused persons must appear in court.

In Summary

• In the case, Migori Governor Okoth Obado has been charged alongside his four children and county staff with stealing Sh73.4 million.

• State lawyer Peter Kiprop told the court that Obado’s case was that of conflict of interest and an intricate web of money laundering through proxies.

Migori Governor Okoth Obado in a Milimani court on July 15, 2021.
Migori Governor Okoth Obado in a Milimani court on July 15, 2021.
Image: ENOS TECHE

The DPP now says Sh256.7 million was siphoned from Migori county government to entities associated with some of the accused in a graft case.

In the case, Migori Governor Okoth Obado has been charged alongside his four children and county staff with stealing Sh73.4 million.

In their opening statement before the first witness takes the stand, the prosecution said they have strong evidence to show Obado and his co-accused stole the cash.

State lawyer Peter Kiprop told the court that Obado’s case was that of conflict of interest and an intricate web of money laundering through proxies.

“The charges facing the accused persons include conspiracy to commit an economic crime, conflict of interest, unlawful acquisition of public property and money laundering,” Kiprop said.

Chief magistrate Lawrence Mugambi heard that the prosecution will demonstrate to the court that Sh256,703,688 was received from the Migori county government by entities associated with Jared Kwaga and 10 other suspects.

“These entities are registered in the names of individuals who are family members of Kwaga by virtue of being a wife, brother and mother to him,” he said.

Kiprop said he will prove all the entities were registered shortly after Obado was elected governor.

The prosecution promised to prove Kwaga’s brother was an employee of the county government of Migori as a pharmaceutical technologist.

 The prosecution said he conflicted the interest of his office by trading with Migori county and unlawfully gained Sh63,864,149.

“The prosecution shall also prove that the governor knowingly acquired an indirect private interest amounting to Sh73,474,376 from the county government of Migori through his children,” the court heard.

The prosecution further said it shall also prove that Sh38.9 million was received by Obado’s children as college and upkeep cash while studying in Australia, Scotland and the United Kingdom respectively and the purchase of two Toyota Land Cruisers.

They will also prove that Sh34.5 million was indirectly acquired by Obado through the purchase of a house by Kwaga on behalf of the governor’s daughter.

In order to prove its case against the accused persons, the prosecution intends to call 59 witnesses and present oral and documentary evidence.

Mugambi directed that in future hearings, all accused persons must appear in court.

All the suspects, except Obado, have been following the proceedings virtually from Migori.

The hearing resumes Thursday morning.

 

Edited by A.N