Court freezes officers' assets worth Sh451m

The High Court has extended orders freezing the assets of a former Nairobi County Government official and a government accountant who cannot explain the sources of their combined Sh451 million wealth.

Lady Justice Jessie Lessit yesterday issued the directive restraining former Nairobi County Government head of accounting Stephen Osiro from transferring, disposing or selling his assets valued at Sh340 million until the source of his wealth is determined.

She also stopped Thomas Njogu, a senior accountant at Interior ministry, from dealing with his Sh111 million wealth he allegedly acquired within a span of one year despite his modest net salary of Sh93,000 per month.

“The orders issued restraining the two from selling, charging, transferring, wasting or in any other way dealing with the listed properties are hereby extended pending the full hearing of the dispute,” ruled Lessit.

The judge issued the orders as Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) stepped up the fight to recover millions of shillings and assets in he hands of civil servants who cannot account for their massive wealth as compared to their meagre salaries.

The commission first obtained the orders freezing Osiro and Njogu’s accounts and assets on August 27.

According to the EACC, it was not possible for the two officers to have such wealth within a short time even if they had other sources of income apart from their salaries.

Osiro has been charged alongside former Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero with conspiracy to commit a fraud, leading to loss of Sh213 million from Nairobi City County.

EACC claims through documents filed in court it was not possible for Osiro to amass the Sh340 million fortune in both cash and property within a span of five years with his modest salary of Sh90,000 a month.

The commission, through lawyer Judith Shamalla, stated that investigations had revealed Osiro and his wife Caroline Odhiambo acquired unexplained assets worth Sh318,637,338.60 and US$110,375 between January 2011 and April 2016.