alexa Agency fails to link Lillian Omollo's wealth to farming - Daily Nation

Agency fails to link Lillian Omollo's wealth to farming

Wednesday May 29 2019

lillian mbogo OMOLLO

Former Youth and Gender Principal Secretary Lillian Omollo is questioned by National Assembly's Public Accounts Committee over NYS matters on May 25, 2018. She is accused of abetting corruption in the ministry. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

SAM KIPLAGAT
By SAM KIPLAGAT
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The Assets Recovery Agency now says the millions of shillings belonging to former Youth and Gender Principal Secretary Lillian Omollo cannot be linked to the farming business she reportedly operates in Siaya County.

An investigator told a city court Tuesday that he and a colleague travelled to Uyoma but found no evidence of the farm.

Ms Omollo had told the court that she has greenhouses where she grows tomatoes, cucumbers, watermelons and other crops.

She said she took up farming five years ago and that some of the deposits in the frozen accounts were proceeds from the business.

But in his affidavit, Mr Isaac Nakitare said he found only “a piece of land with shrubs”.

NYS FUNDS

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He said the farming narrative is meant to conceal the source of the money “and is a classic scheme of laundering money”.

The piece of land belongs to the family of freedom fighter and former minister Achieng Oneko and is yet to be subdivided, he said.

“We established that there were no farming activities on the land as reported by the first respondent. There is only a small greenhouse on the plot which Nam Oneko (Ms Omollo’s relative) said belongs to him,” he said.

Mr Nakitare said the greenhouse had some “small tomatoes which had not matured”. “There’s no evidence linking the funds in this matter and the non-existent farm,” he said.

Ms Omollo says the money in her accounts does not belong to the National Youth Service.

“On November 19, 2018, I gave the applicant documents and evidence showing the funds in the accounts are legitimate,” she said.

EVIDENCE

Mr Nakitare said one of the accounts in the name of Nile International Ltd at CFC Stanbic received no deposits in 2016, 2017 and 2018, “which is the period under investigations”.

He said the claim that the money was partly from payment for consultancy services to Ms Omollo’s husband Dick Achieng is not true.

“There is sufficient evidence that the funds are proceeds of crime since the respondent did not provide proof of their legitimate sources. They are liable for confiscation,” Mr Nakitare said.

Ms Omollo had told investigators that her husband received Sh40 million from consultancy work in South Sudan.

But Mr Nakitare said that from August 9, 2011 to April 19, 2019, nine credits/deposits of $225,005.67 (about Sh22.7 million) were made to the account.

The agency filed the application seeking the forfeiture of about Sh35 million.

BANK ACCOUNTS

The frozen accounts include six at Equity Bank registered in the name of Lilian Muthoni Mbogo, which had $67,331.9, an account in the name of LIDI Estates Ltd, which had $28,981, another in the same bank and the same name that had Sh2,297,495 and another with $8,979.83.

Another account at Equity Bank in Ms Omollo’s name had Sh1.68 million, while another registered as Sahara Consultants at Diamond Trust Bank had Sh5.65 million.

Three accounts registered in her children’s names had more than Sh11 million. Court documents show that the amounts were deposited between January 2016 and March 2018.

Ms Omollo was appointed to the ministry on December 18, 2015. The case will be heard on June 6.