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EACC Blocks Transfer Of Governor Obado’s Nairobi Home Bought With Stolen Funds By His Proxy Jared Kwaga Of The Sh2B County Scam

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Migori Governor Okoth Obado. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) Thursday obtained court orders stopping the sale or transfer of a house in Nairobi’s Loresho estate that is linked to Migori Governor Okoth Obado and funds stolen from the county government.

The house was bought for Sh35 million and is registered in the name of Jared Peter Kwaga, who is accused of incorporating a string of companies that were trading with the Migori County government.

EACC says in court documents that the tenant pays rent to Governor Okoth Obado’s daughter, Everlyne Adhiambo, raising suspicion that the county chief could be linked to the property.

Justice Mumbi Ngugi issued orders preserving the property for six months. The judge bar

he house was bought for Sh35 million and is registered in the name of Jared Peter Kwaga, who is accused of incorporating a string of companies that were trading with the Migori County government.

EACC says in court documents that the tenant pays rent to Governor Okoth Obado’s proxy Mr Kwaga, Mr Obado and Ms Adhiambo from selling, charging or disposing of the house.

The three have been named as respondents in the case.

Through lawyer Phillip Kagucia, the EACC told the court that it was investigating allegations that public officers in the Migori County government, in collusion with private contractors, had engaged in a fraudulent scheme to embezzle public funds through inflated or fictitious procurement contracts.

Consequently, he added, the said public officers, their associates and private contractors have accumulated illicit wealth.

He said further investigations had established that Mr Kwaga used the illicit money to acquire the property for Sh34,525,000.

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“The applicant is apprehensive that the 1st Respondent (Kwaga), in light of the ongoing investigations, may in the intervening period, transfer, dispose or in any other way deal with the properties to defeat the course of justice, before the commission has completed its investigations,” he said.

EACC had earlier told the court that the businessman is one of the proxies who have been used by Mr Obado to siphon more than Sh2 billion through manipulation of the county’s procurement system.

Mr Kwaga is among 10 individuals and companies believed to have made over Sh2 billion through Migori County tenders before wiring some proceeds back to Mr Obado and his family.

Mr Obado is accused of using proxies, including his relatives, to siphon Sh2 billion from the county’s coffers, according to an affidavit filed in court by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC).

The commission said seven members of his family registered 16 companies and secured multimillion tenders from the county government.

The individuals were identified as Mr Kwaga, Ms Christine Ochola, Ms Carolyne Ochola, Mr Joram Otieno, Mr Patroba Otieno, Ms Penina Otago and Mr Robert Okeyo.

The anti-graft agency reckons it has established that firms associated with known proxies of Mr Obado, including Mr Kwaga, were systematically awarded high value contracts, between 2013 and 2017.

“Out of the monies cited hereinabove, the 1st Respondent applied a sum of Sh34,525,000.00, towards the acquisition of a property in Nairobi County referred to as, Loresho Ridge,” Mr Kagucia said.

EACC said there are reasonable grounds to suspect that the house was acquired as a result of corrupt conduct and is, consequently, an unexplained asset.

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“It is in the interests of justice to prohibit the respondents, their agents, servants or any other persons from transferring or disposing of or otherwise dealing with Loresho Ridge house,” EACC submitted.

Early in February, Mr Kwaga was appointed to the council of the Kenya Institute of Mass Communication but the decision was later revoked.

He was among many individuals in a list of appointments by President Uhuru Kenyatta and several ministers in a Gazette notice of February 8.

Three days later, in another Gazette notice, Information, Communication and Technology minister Joe Mucheru said he had cancelled the appointment.

Additional reporting by Nation.


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