Samburu Governor Moses Kasaine Lenolkulai has been barred from transferring or withdrawing monies held in his four bank accounts at Kenya Commercial Bank(KCB) pending probe over suspected fraud of Sh 1.6billion.
High Court Anti-Corruption Judge John Onyiego issued the orders after Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission(EACC) filed an application seeking to stop the Governor from withdrawing millions of Shillings pending conclusion of investigation or institution of recovery proceedings of the same.
“An order of prohibition is hereby issued prohibiting Moses Kasaine Lenolkulai and Oryx Service Station by themselves, their agents ,servants or any other persons from withdrawing, transferring or in any other manner dealing with the funds in four accounts held at Kenya Commercial Bank Limited pending conclusion of investigation or institution of recovery proceedings,” ordered Justice Onyiego.
The court sitting at Panari Resort Nyahururu during high court annual judges conference ordered the orders shall subsist for a period of six months.
EACC was directed to serve the application to the Governor and his petrol Station Oryx Service station within seven days.
The Watchdog agency filed in court a certificate of urgency seeking to prohibit Governor Lenolkulai and a petrol station from withdrawing or transferring pending investigations into alleged of embezzlement of shillings 1.6 billion between January 1, 2013 and December 31,2018 by Samburu County Government officials and contractors.
EACC says preliminary investigations have revealed Lenolkulai through his Oryx Service Station in the period 2013 to 2018 received a sum in excess of Sh 80,763,715.35 being payment by the Samburu County government for purported supply of diesel or petrol.
“An analyse of the flow of funds between the The agency established Lenolkulai bank accounts reveal that public funds were received into the governor owned petrol station bank accounts from the Samburu County Government and withdrawn or transferred to the Governor bank accounts between the year January 2013 and December 2018,” said EACC.
Documents filed in court show that the commission established Lenolkulai owned petrol station Oryx Service station was awarded a contract to supply diesel or petrol to the county government of Samburu for the period 2014 to 2019.
EACC says that it has received allegations that senior officials from the Governor’s government received bribes to the tune of 86 million from several contractors and suppliers in order to influence award of tenders in their favor or to facilitate payment to the said contractors.
It is alleged that public officers in the Samburu County Government in complete violation of their fiduciary positions and in conflict of their personal and public interest have been trading with the county government through their companies or in collusion with private contractors.
According to the papers, the officials of the Samburu county government are engaged in a fraudulent scheme to embezzle public funds through inflated or fictitious procurement contracts and the said public officers , their associate or private contractors have accumulated substantial illicit wealth.
The commission informed the court that it is conducting investigation the period between 2013 and 2018 where several companies that tendered were awarded high value contracts by Samburu County Government to provide goods and services which are associated with or owned by employees of the county government resulting to conflict of interest and loss of public funds amounting to Sh 673 million which was paid through the said companies.
“The governor, being a public officer under the definition of the public officer ethics act, in complete violation of his position an in conflict of his personal and public interest has been trading with the county government through his company,” said the commission.
The agency added that investigations have revealed that the Governor through his company in the period 2013-2019 received Sh 80,763,715,35 being payment by the county government of samburu for the supply of petrol or diesel.
Investigation have also revealed that the Governor on July 8,2015 purchased properties in Karen worth 15 million each which the commission has obtained orders for their preservation for a period of six months. The said property are LR NO2259/744, LR NO. 2259/745, LR NO. 2259/749 and LR NO. 2259/750 all located in Karen Nairobi.
Joel Khisa a forensic investigator filed a supporting affidavit saying the agency needed more time since the 21 days order for search warrant issued by magistrate court to allow them investigate the four accounts pending filing this application in the high court had lapsed and they required more time to complete the investigation.
Khisia added that the investigations by the commission are likely to take some time given the time period for investigation is being carried on the colossal amount of assets and funds involved, the multiplicity of transactions and the possible numerous illegal acts or offences involved.
“It is therefore necessary to preserve or freeze the money in the subject bank accounts for a period of six months pending conclusion of investigations and institution of recovery proceedings,” said Khisia.
EACC suspects the money used to purchase the said property by the Governor and accumulate substantial property or illicit wealth which is amenable for forfeiture to the state.
The Governor has unexplained assets disproportionate to his known legitimate source of income.
EACC says if the orders were not issued they fear the Governor may transfer, withdraw or in anyway deal with money and properties to defeat the course of justice before the commission has completed its investigations and commence civil proceedings.
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