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Protesting residents invade and surround EACC offices in Garissa

By Cyrus Ombati | Published Tue, July 4th 2017 at 18:17, Updated July 4th 2017 at 18:20 GMT +3
Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission CEO Halakhe Waqo

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission office in Garissa was invaded on Tuesday by a group of supporters of Governor Nathif Jama, in protest over ongoing probe into the county boss and his staff.

EACC CEO Halakhe Waqo said the group threatened the commission staff at the North Eastern regional office for hours terming it obstruction of public officers.

“This kind of harassment, intimidation and threats amounts to obstruction of public officers in the performance of duty and shall not be condoned whatsoever,” said Waqo.

Police were called there to disperse the group that shouted at the commission officials accusing them of being used to fight political wars.

Waqo linked the incident to the ongoing probe into the governor and other county officials over alleged financial impropriety.

He said no amount of threats, harassment or intimidation will dissuade or distract the commission from continuing to undertake its mandate of investigating and recommending to the Director of Public Prosecutions of those culpable.

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He said the war on corruption will not spare any person and they shall continue to implement their mandate fearlessly, professionally and with integrity.

Governor Jama has turned the heat on EACC to explain the authenticity of a statement from the First Community Bank showing he had staggering Sh5.2 billion.

Both Jama and the bank have disowned the statement that the Commission relied on to secure a court order to freeze the said account for six months.

Jama threatened to sue EACC for defamation as documents from his bank account showed he does not have Sh5.2 billion.

A comparison of a certified bank statement from the First Community Bank shows significant discrepancies from the one used by EACC to obtain court orders to freeze the account which Jama insisted did not belong to him.

"The claims were made for political motives to help my detractors. One would wonder if an individual could have Sh5.2 billion in his account or if any bank would allow to keep that amount under the name of an individual," said Jama.

He said he contacted the bank and the chief executive officer confirmed to him that the account under investigation was not his.

The governor presented his bank statement from the bank between January 2015 and May 2015, which is different from the one allegedly used by EAC to apply and obtain orders to freeze the accounts.

For instance, the bank statement from the bank presented by the governor has the transaction date, the value date and transaction number while the one presented by the EACC only has the transaction date.

On January 1 2015, the governor’s statement from the bank shows that he had Sh280,100 as balance in his account while the EACC statement shows he had Sh2.8 billion.

"The question we are asking is who added the zeros when the correct statement from the bank shows that my account only had Sh280,100. This was a clear case of forgery and lies to paint me as a corrupt person," said Jama.

"All this shows that there was no truth in whatever EACC was alleging. They were false, malicious and fraudulent. How can an institution like EACC be used to malign a person without even giving him a chance to defend himself," he said.

The governor argued that such amount of money cannot be transacted without the knowledge of the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) and that his political enemies are using EACC to incriminate him.

According to the governor, the county government received a total of Sh5.6 billion for equitable share of lease and there is no way he could have siphoned Sh5.2 billion.