DPP goes for judiciary staff implicated in Sh500 million fraud

Director of Public Prosecution Noordin Haji when he appeared before the National Assembly Justice and Legal Affairs Committee on the wide spread of corruption in the country at Parliament. [Boniface Okendo/Standard]
Senior officials in the Judiciary could soon face prosecution for Sh500 million lost through fraud.

Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji has instructed the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) and the Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to commence investigations in the suspected fraud at the Judiciary.

The investigations will target misappropriation of revenue collected at the Milimani Law Courts, inflation of costs used to refurbish the courtrooms, unlawful extension of medical insurance cover for judicial officers and an unapproved contract for provision of security guards.

“The respective investigative agencies must file a progress reports every 21 days until the final conclusion of investigations, taking into account the complexity and the nature of the economic crimes involved,” wrote Mr Haji.

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He directed the DCI to concentrate on the Judiciary’s internal audit report on revenue management at Milimani Law Courts and the conversion of the Income Tax House into a law court.

EACC was assigned the task of investigating a Sh122 million medical insurance demand note and a contract for provision of private security services to the Judiciary.

The Income Tax House was converted to Milimani Law Courts, which comprises several magistrate courts and all the divisions of the High Court.

According to an audit report, the contract to convert the building into courtrooms was varied by Sh288 million, which was 41 per cent above the initial contract.

The variation was contrary to procurement regulations, which put a threshold of 15 per cent. It was not approved and was not supported by the site manager.

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On collection of revenue, the Judiciary’s internal audit between January 2016 and December 2017 established that Sh36 million may have been lost.

The EACC will investigate the circumstances under which the Judiciary's tender committee approved the renewal of an insurance medical cover at a cost of Sh808 million, which was 24 per cent above the initial amount of Sh648 million. The commission will also investigate how contracts for private security awarded to two firms were renewed without following procurement procedures.

The DCI has written to Chief Registrar of the Judiciary Anne Amadi requesting her to make available all supporting documents relating to the cases cited by Haji.

Ms Amadi had on July 19 requested the DCI to investigate the circumstances leading to loss of funds collected at the commercial, civil, family, environment and land court registries stationed at Milimani.

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