alexa Ex-county official amassed Sh340m in five years - Daily Nation

Ex-county official amassed Sh340m in five years

Thursday September 2 2010

Nairobi City County headquarters,

City Hall, Nairobi City County headquarters. Acting County Secretary Pauline Kahiga said Kenya Power owes the county Sh347 million. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

PETER LEFTIE
By PETER LEFTIE
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A former Nairobi County government official earning a net monthly salary of roughly Sh90,000 amassed a Sh340 million fortune in just five years.

Separately, an accountant at the Interior ministry on a Sh155,000 monthly gross salary also amassed for himself and his family a Sh111 million fortune within 20 months.

Former Nairobi County government head of accounting Stephen Ogaga Osiro is said to have amassed the Sh340 million fortune in both cash and property between January 2011 and April 2016, while the Interior ministry Senior Assistant Accountant General Thomas Gitau Njogu made his Sh111 million wealth between January 2016 and August 31, 2017, bringing the duo’s questionable fortune to a total of Sh451 million, according to affidavits filed in court by investigators from the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission last month.

COURT ORDERS

Mr Osiro had declared in his wealth declaration forms that his income was a modest Sh6,440,000 while his assets were estimated at Sh36,000,000 while his total liabilities were a mere Sh1,550,000.

Last month, the anti-corruption body successfully obtained orders from the High Court to freeze the duo’s assets and bank accounts.

In her order dated August 28, 2018 freezing Mr Osiro and his wife Caroline Odhiambo Obwa’s assets, including millions of shillings held in various bank accounts and immovable assets spread across Nairobi, Kajiado and Kisumu counties, High Court Judge Hedwig Ong’udi restrained the one time treasurer of the defunct Kisumu Municipal Council from transferring, leasing, charging, wasting or disposing of 38 parcels of land located in Nairobi, Kajiado and Kisumu counties as well as two motor vehicles, a Toyota Prado and a Toyoka Mark X.

She directed that the matter be mentioned this Thursday for further directions.

ASSETS FROZEN

On the same day, the EACC similarly secured orders freezing the assets of Mr Njogu and his wife, Teresia Njeri Gitau, including properties in Nairobi’s Thome estate, Kitengela and Kabete. Ms Ongudi further allowed EACC to keep in its custody Sh8,223,050 and 3,500 US dollars which was seized from the couple’s residence and office premises on August 24, 2018.

The couple was also restrained from selling or transferring a Toyota Hilux registration number KCL 350Z pending further mention of the matter on Thursday.

In the affidavit seeking orders to freeze the Osiro’s fortune, EACC lawyer Judith Mwanzia Shamalla stated that investigations carried out by the anti-graft body had established that the couple had acquired unexplained assets worth Sh318,637,338.60 and US$110,375 between January 2011 and April 2016.

“The unexplained assets comprise cash Sh293,842,338.60 and Sh21,295,000 (total purchase sum of assets not linked to deposits) and a motor vehicle valued at approximately Sh3,500,000,” Ms Shamalla stated in her sworn affidavit.

UNEXPLAINED

“The 1st defendant offered an explanation which the plaintiff did not find adequate as his known legitimate sources of income generate approximately Sh7,006,029 during the period of interest, while the total value of the accumulated cash is Sh293,842,338.60 and US$110,375, thus prompting the plaintiff to institute the suit for forfeiture of the unexplained assets,” she stated.

“The 2nd defendant confirmed in a statement recorded on August 15, 2018 that she was the owner of some of the properties listed herein but she did not give any explanation and/or had no explanation to give or, in the alternative she failed, refused and/or neglected to offer any explanation as to how she acquired the properties,” Ms Shamalla averred.

Suit papers showed the couple held properties registered in their names or those of their children.

The properties included apartments and flats in Nairobi’s Lavington, Kileleshwa, Runda and Riara as well as land in Kitengela, Kisumu municipality, Muhoroni and his rural home in Nyando, Kisumu county.

LEGITIMATE

A supporting affidavit filed by Andrew Lekamparish, an EACC forensic investigator and another one by Paul Mugwe showed that Mr Osiro had acquired the fortune while working as a treasurer at the defunct Kisumu Municipal Council and Nairobi City County respectively “thus putting him at a position of influence and/or at an advantage and as a result he acquired assets that are unexplained.”

“The 2nd defendant is the legal and/or lawful wife of the 1st defendant and is a housewife with no known legitimate source of income,” Mr Lekamparish averred.

He added thus; “Investigations carried out by the plaintiff established that in the period between January 2011 and April 2016 (herein referred to as period of interest), the 1st defendant acquired unexplained assets in form of cash amounting to Sh239,956,019.60 and US$110,375 which amounts were deposited in his various accounts held in different banks. The 2nd defendant acquired unexplained assets in form of cash deposited in her account totalling Sh53,886,319.00. The total unexplained assets in form of cash acquired by the defendants is thus Sh293,842,338.60 and US$110,375,” he added.

IMMOVABLE

Mr Lekamparish stated that investigations had established that the couple had used Sh116,525,100 to buy the immovable assets.

Another affidavit sworn by Ms Grace Wambui Maina on behalf of EACC showed that Mr Njogu and his wife, Ms Njeri Gitau had “embezzled and/or misappropriated public funds from the State department for Interior and Coordination of National Government amounting to Sh111,681,931.98.”

“The 1st defendant was at all times material to this suit was earning a gross salary of approximately Sh155,000 per month,” she stated.

Last month, Mr Osiro was charged alongside former Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero and six other officials with corruption and abuse of office and are out on bond.

Others charged alongsiden Mr Osiro and Dr Kidero include former County secretary Lilian Ndegwa, former chief finance officer Jimmy Mutuku Kiamba, former minister in charge of finance and planning Gregory Mwakanongo, former acting chief finance officer Luke Mugo and former acting head of treasury Maurice Ochieng Okere.

Others facing charges are John Githua and Grace Njeri of Lodwar Wholesalers Ltd and Ngurumani Traders Ltd.