DPP orders speedy probe into graft claims as 30 court staff face charges

Thursday August 9 2018

Anne Amadi

Chief Registrar of the Judiciary Anne Amadi. She says Judiciary had already alerted the Directorate of Criminal Investigations and the Judiciary Ombudsman to investigate the matter. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

SAM KIPLAGAT
By SAM KIPLAGAT
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Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji has ordered for speedy investigations into alleged loss of funds at the Judiciary through various contracts.

Four internal audits revealed possible loss of funds and the Chief Registrar of Judiciary Anne Amadi had already alerted the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and the Judiciary Ombudsman to probe the matter.

“We wish to state that the Judiciary welcomes the OPP’s call for speedy investigations as described in his statement since this falls within our strict policy of zero tolerance to financial misconduct of any nature,”

said Ms Amadi.

REPRIMANDED

She added that some 30 Judiciary staff are currently facing charges of economic crimes and related activities in various courts while for people have been dismissed and six others reprimanded.

The contracts include a medical insurance cover, the conversion of former Income Tax House to the Milimani Law Courts and provision of security services to courts across the country. The probe will also include alleged theft of Sh36 million at the registries at the Milimani courts, using fake receipts.

“Upon receipt of the reports, the DPP consulted with Chief Justice David Maraga, who raised similar concerns. Consequently, the DPP has directed investigations to commence immediately by both the Directorate of Criminal Investigations and the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission,” Mr Haji said.

REGULATIONS

In the medical insurance cover, the Judiciary entered into a contact with Jubilee Insurance Company for the provision of Group Medical Insurance at a contract sum of Sh648,297,521 for a period of 12 months with effect from September 2015.

The report said the Judiciary Tender Committee approved renewal of the contract at Sh808,056,889, which was 24.6 per cent variation of the original contract. The tender was later cancelled on October 3, 2016.

For the provision of security services, the audit reveals that the contracts were renewed without following procedures and regulations.

While for the conversion of the Milimani building, the construction was varied yet the orders were not supported by site instructions to the contractor, duly signed by the project manager and costed and signed by the quantity surveyor.

INVESTIGATIONS

The DPP directed the respective investigative agencies to file progress reports on investigations after every 21 days until conclusion of the probe. The audits, prepared by the Audit and Risk Management Directorate details how money could have been lost.

The Chief Risk and Internal Systems Auditor Ronald Wanyama said that during the conversion of the building, which cost the taxpayer about Sh1 billion, the contract was varied by Sh313,246,147 and some of the variations were not supported by the site instructions to the contractor N.K. Brothers.

PAYMENT

The works were completed and eventually handed to the Judiciary of November 17, 2010 and handing over certificate issued. The project manager then prepared and issued a final certificate for payment of Sh116,825,566 dated January 30, 2015.

Further, the contractor was also to explain how the firm was procured to prepare directional signage at a cost of Sh8.3 million and justify why the Judiciary should pay Sh1,51,656 for maintenance contract with Office Technologies.