Court bars accountant from accessing wealth

A former accountant at City Hall and his wife have lost a battle to reclaim their property worth millions of shillings.

Stephen Ogaga Osiro and his wife Caroline Odhiambo wanted High Court to lift an order stopping them from dealing with the properties worth Sh340 million.

But Justice Hedwig Ong’udi ruled that lifting the orders before the court could determine the source of their wealth would be prejudicial.

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The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), which has accused the couple of irregularly acquiring the wealth, is seeking to attach their properties spread across Nairobi, Kisumu and Kajiado counties.

“EACC’s fear is justified to the effect that if the properties are not preserved, they could be disposed off before the matter is determined. I am satisfied they have made a case to warrant stopping the respondents from dealing with the properties,” ruled Justice Ong’udi.

The judge dismissed the couple’s claims that they had been crippled financially by the decision to freeze their properties, noting that they owned several residential buildings where they collected rent that they could use to sustain themselves.

Justice Ong’udi said since Osiro and his wife had not denied owning the properties, it was only fair that they did not dispose them so the State could repossess them in the event the court found they were acquired using stolen public funds.

The EACC has said it is not possible for the former head of accounting to have accumulated such wealth in five years on a salary of Sh90,000 a month.

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The couple owns flats in Lavington, Kileleshwa, Runda and Riara, as well as land in Kitengela, Kisumu municipality, Muhoroni and his rural home in Nyando.

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City HallGraftMike Sonko