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Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission wants Sh140 million from parastatal chief

COUNTIES
By Isaiah Lucheli | July 7th 2015

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has moved to the Court of Appeal over Sh140 million property allegedly acquired irregularly by a public servant.

The anti-corruption agency is challenging the High Court’s verdict which blocked it from having the property of a financial controller with National Water Conservation and Pipeline Corporation Stanley Amuti forfeited to the Government after he failed to explain how he acquired it.

In the appeal, EACC through lawyer Kossy Bor told appellate judges Martha Koome, Festus Azangalala and Hannah Okwengu that the High Court judge had erred in dismissing the application by the commission. EACC added that Amuti’s salary was Sh306,000 per month in 2008, but they had seized documents from his house as well as Sh3,998,000 and Sh140 million cumulative deposits made by him; which was far beyond his legitimate source of income.

EACC had sought a declaration that the properties, which included houses in Nairobi, parcels of land, motor vehicles and money in bank accounts had been acquired irregularly and violated provisions of the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act.

 FAIR TRIAL

In the suit that was dismissed by the High Court, EACC had sought to have the defendant condemned by the court to pay to the Government Sh140,976,020, being the cumulative bank deposits made by Amuti between September 2007 and June 2008 and Sh32,500,000, being the value of the amount constituting unexplained assets.

In her verdict, the judge argued that the standard of proof of satisfaction of the court is not stipulated or specified and has to be noted further that the said satisfaction results in the court making order of forfeiture of the property of the defendant. The Act has however specified the standard of proof for the commission.

“I am aware of the object of the Act and wish that the legislature would have enacted an appropriate provision of law, which would have fulfilled its purpose along with following the due process. The court, despite the temptation, social or emotional, cannot fill in the gaps in law,” ruled the then High Court judge Kalpana Rawal.

The judge dismissed the suit by EACC on the grounds that there was lack of fair trial in the process stipulated in Sec. 55 (5) and (6) of The Anti-Corruption Act.

Amuti disputed the amount alleged by EACC, saying he had only deposited Sh39 million, arguing the commission had falsified the amount. Judgement will be delivered on October 2.

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