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Anxiety as anti-corruption investigators storm Governor Sospeter Ojaamong's office

COUNTIES
By Grace Wekesa and Jane Cherotich | September 5th 2015

Busia, Kenya: Drama unfolded at the offices of Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong yesterday following impromptu raid by Kenya Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission (EACC) officials,  who said they had been ordered to investigate claims of fraud.

The detectives, who were escorted by heavily armed police officers, rummaged through documents in the governor’s office before heading to the finance and procurement offices where they confiscated some documents and took away computers and files.

The detectives arrived in a convoy of vehicles,  drawing the attention of the workers and locals yesterday morning.

Hours later, there was a confrontation between the governor’s lawyers and the detectives as they tried to intervene on behalf of their client.

Court warrant

Speaking to the press after the exercise, David Kengara, EACC deputy director in Asset Tracing and Preliminary Investigations, said they were responding to allegations of corruption from officials in the county.

“We are here to carry out our investigations according to a court warrant. We were required to carry out searches in homes and premises and we have finished that exercise,’’ said Mr Kangara.

When probed about the allegations, he refrained from disclosing details.  “We will give more details after investigations are complete,’’ he said.

When reached for comment, Governor Ojaamong said he reads mischief in the incident.

“The armed officers ransacked my homes in Embakasi, Busia and offices for more than seven hours. I see mischief in the whole incident.

I was not notified as is required by law or asked to record a statement,’’ said the governor. Ojaamong said the officers came with a court order to investigate corruption allegations, noting he was cleared several months ago by the Senate and Auditor General.

“I was given a clean bill of health by the Auditor’s General office and senate.

However, I do not oppose their investigation but they should act with decorum,’’ he said. This comes barely a week after his deputy, Kizito Wangalwa, was locked out of his office.

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