Ex-Migori governor Obado, children in court over alleged theft of Sh235 million

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EACC will dispose of the seized properties by public auction in accordance with court orders issued by Justice Esther Maina.

An anti-corruption court in Nairobi will convene this morning to hear allegations that former Migori governor Okoth Obado and his family embezzled millions of public funds during his tenure.

A detective from the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) is scheduled to testify in court as the first prosecution witness in the case, narrating how the former government and 11 other accused persons, hatched and executed a fraudulent scheme to steal county coffers.

The 11 accused persons include his four children, Dan Achola Okoth, Scarlet Susan Okoth, Everlyn Zachary Okoth, and Jerry Zachary Okoth, and county officials.

Obado and the other suspects are facing criminal charges relating to the theft of public funds and conflict of interest in the Migori County government before Chief Magistrate Victor Wakumile.

The prosecution has lined up 59 witnesses to testify in the matter filed by the anti-graft agency in 2021 after it conducted investigations into suspicious payments to multiple companies totaling Sh1.98 billion.

"After investigations, most payments were found to have been lawfully made in respect to executed contracts whose works were confirmed in a verification exercise, while payments amounting to Sh235 million remained unexplained, thus deemed to have been fraudulently acquired from the County Government," EACC documents show.

The Milimani Law Courts in Nairobi. (Photo: File)

According to EACC, the unexplained amount was found to be proceeds of corruption, including kickbacks directly sent by some companies to foreign universities as school fees for Obado's children as well as high-end properties purchased for the family by the said contractors, which have since been recovered through Alternative Dispute Resolution following a civil suit filed at the High Court.

The properties include two Land Cruisers and eight properties, including a house in Loresho, two apartments in Nairobi's Greenspan area, a maisonette in the same area, a two-storey commercial block named Sunrise Centre in Suna East, a five-storey residential block in the same area and another property in Kamagambo, all worth over Sh235 million.

EACC will dispose of the seized properties by public auction in accordance with court orders issued by Justice Esther Maina.

The accused persons are, however, still not off the hook, as they will be convicted and sentenced in accordance with Section 48 of the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act, 2003 if the trial court finds them guilty in the ongoing criminal case.

If found guilty, they will face a maximum jail term of 10 years for each offence, a mandatory fine equal to two times the amount of public funds lost or benefit acquired by the accused person and be banned from government appointment or election to any public office for 10 years.

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