HEARING CONTINUES

Obado stole Sh2.6bn from county in his first term, court told

Ronoh says 23 companies are linked to family members, friends and close associates of the governor.

In Summary

• The court was told that 23 companies of interest were registered a few months after the 2013 general election when Obado was elected governor

• Ronoh told the court that seven of the companies are associated with Jared Kwaga who is alleged to be Obado’s close associate

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

Migori Governor Okoth Obado embezzled Sh2.6 billion from the county government during his first term in office, the court heard on Thursday.

During his examination, EACC investigating officer Robert Ronoh told chief magistrate Lawrence Mugambi that Obado stole Sh2.6 billion.

“We received information from the intelligence department of the EACC that the allegation was of misappropriation of public money at the county of Migori, whereby companies that are associated with close family members were awarded tenders to the tune of Sh2.6 billion between 2013-14 and 2016-17 financial years,” he said.

The court was also told that 23 companies of interest were registered a few months after the 2013 general election when Obado was elected governor.

Ronoh said the companies are linked to family members, friends and close associates of the governor.

Obado and his proxies benefited from the funds through 23 trading companies that were awarded tenders by the county government.

However, Obado, his four children and other accused persons have been charged with stealing Sh73.4 million.

Ronoh further told the court that seven of the companies are associated with Jared Kwaga, the sixth accused person, who is alleged to be Obado’s close associate.

He said their efforts to gather documentary evidence in the graft case were frustrated by county secretary Christopher Rusana, who dilly-dallied in providing documents.

The documents that Ronoh and his team needed from the county included a contract agreement and tender evaluation committee papers,  which he said they had a hard time getting.

“The documents requested are tender advertising notices, tender registers, tender processing register, tender opening minutes, list of all bidders, tender evaluation minutes, tender committee minutes, tender awards certificate to both and none successful bidders, acceptance cert, contract agreements, inception and acceptance cert, payment vouchers and any other related documents related to Investigations,” Ronoh said.

He said investigations had narrowed down on several companies in order to proceed with speed. The focus was on specific companies that were related to Kwaga – which were owned by him, his boss, brothers, mother and sister-in-law.

The companies were Atinus Limited, Joyush Business, Mactebac Contractor, Deltrack ICT Services, Misoft Limited, Selectrack Consultants Limited and Swfycom engineering.

The case resumes next Tuesday.

Edited by A.N