EACC to recover Kes7.2m fraudulently obtained by former senior employees of Isiolo County Government

EACC to recover Kes7.2m fraudulently obtained by former senior employees of Isiolo County Government

03:04:2024 The Commission has sought recovery orders in the High Court at Nairobi against a private limited company, its director and his partner, and 10 former senior officers of the County Government of Isiolo in regards to Kes7.22 million embezzled from the County in 2014.

The Commission wants the Court to declare as proceeds of corruption the money which was embezzled through a supply scheme. It has also asked the Court to order the defendants to, jointly and severally pay back the money in full plus interest from the date of filing of the suit.

A substantial amount of the loot, Kes5.157 million is frozen in a joint account of Bonaya Dida Bonya, the director of Fish Nets Enterprises Ltd and his partner, Qabale Wario Halake at a Cooperative Bank account. The Commission wants the same and any further sums therein applied towards settlement of the judgment and decree of the Court.

Investigations by the Commission revealed that Wario Boru Halake, charged as the fourth accused and at the material time serving as the Chief Officer, Office of the Governor, issued a requisition to Giro Liban, the 13th accused person and at the material time the Chief Officer, Finance seeking the procurement of 300 bags of rice, 250 bags of sugar, 400 bags of maize flour, 485 bags of wheat flour, and 300 20ltr cans of cooking oil.

The 10th September 2014 requisition led to the payment of Kes7,220,000 to Fish Net Enterprises, charged as the 1st accused. The payment, investigations unearthed, were made based on forged letters purporting to be genuine letters written by the MCA and Ward Administrator for Cherab Ward. No procurement process was, however, commenced by the County Government in relation to the requisitioned items.

Between 22nd October and 10th December of the same year, Guyo Adi, the fifth accused and at the material time serving as a Personal Assistant in the Office of the Governor issued irregular instructions to Fish Nets Enterprises Ltd that styled itself as Ganale Wholesale to issue out various food items to unnamed persons. This committed the County Government to financial liability on whose strength Fish Nets Enterprises Ltd issued delivery notes and invoices amounting to Kes7,220,000.

The invoices and delivery notes, investigations revealed, were neither backed by any prior local purchase orders (LPO) nor were they preceded by any procurement processes by the County Government of Isiolo.

Mutea John Kiunga, the 12th accused and serving at the material time as Chief Officer in the Governor’s Office unlawfully instructed Mr. Liban on 19 May 2017 to process payments in favour of Fish Nets Enterprises Ltd for the alleged supply of goods. Mr. Liban immediately approved the request and authorised the payments. On about the same date, Elijah Kiarie Nduati, the 7th defendant serving as procurement officer in the Office of the Governor, prepared LPO in favour of Fish Nets Enterprises Ltd for Kes3,611,000 and Kes3,609,000.

Christopher Kimani, Zainab Tache Guyo, Guyo Buke Suku and Hawo Galgalo Kanato, serving at the material time as clerical officer in charge of stores at the County Treasury, a licensing officer, secretary, and Computer Programmer and ICT Officer, Office of the Governor respectively fraudulently signed inspection and acceptance forms relating to the two LPOs. They backdated them to 23rd November 2016 and purported to have inspected and accepted the goods.

Christopher Kimani also fraudulently prepared and issued two undated counter receipt vouchers to correspond with the two LPOs and purported to acknowledge that the County Government had received goods from Fish Net Enterprises Ltd.

Mr. Kiunga, the Chief Officer, Governor’s Office, being the accounting officer executed payment vouchers and on diverse dates between February and August 2020, the County Government of Isiolo made payments of Kes7.22 million in three instalments to Fish Nets Enterprises bank account at Cooperative Bank Ltd.

Investigations also established that Fish Nets Enterprises Ltd transferred Kes2.03 million through various cheques to Bonaya Dida Bonya, the 2nd accused and at material time the company’s director. Fish Nets Enterprises also moved Kes5.187 million on 18th August 2020 to Cooperative Bank Account Number 01109437125000 jointly held by Mr. Bonya and Qabale Wario Halake, the 3rd accused.

EACC has argued that the defendants jointly and severally conspired and breached procurement laws with the intention of facilitating a fraud, and that the sum of Kes7.22 million was paid by the County Government of Isiolo as a result of corrupt practice and is recoverable as proceeds of corruption.

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