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CoG: Leave politics out of Governor Okoth Obado graft probe

By Jael Mboga | August 28th 2020 at 11:32:49 GMT +0300

Migori Governor Okoth Obado at the Milimani law courts in Nairobi in December last year. [George Njunge/Standard]

The Council of Governors has urged investigative agencies looking into Migori Governor Okoth Obado to delink politics from the probe.

Obado, his four children and business associates will spend the weekend in custody after being charged with stealing millions of shillings from the county government.

In a statement on Friday, CoG chairman and Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya said he supports the fight against corruption both at the national and county governments.

He called the authorities to conduct the case in a manner that conforms with the fundamental concepts of justice and equality. 

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"We hope the governor will be accorded a fair and expeditious trial to ensure uninterrupted service delivery to Migori residents," Oparanya said.

"On the other hand, we continue to urge county officials to adhere to the principles of public finance as they exercise their respective duties."

Oparanya further called on the Judiciary to steer away from the pattern in the past where governors once charged have been locked out of their offices for an indefinite period as the case continues.

"This hinders the governors from performing their duties and takes away service delivery to mwananchi."

Obado and the other suspects were arrested on Wednesday after presenting themselves to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission offices in Kisii and later to Nairobi where they were locked.

It was a case of two families brought together by an alleged insatiable lust to embezzle public funds through a chain of corrupt business deals and payments of millions of shillings from the county government of Migori for ghost work and services not delivered.

On one hand was a father, governor Obado, whose four children Dan Achola, Scarlet Susan, Jerry Zachary and Evelyne Odhiambo faced the humiliation of being dragged to the dock as alleged co-conspirators in their father’s alleged theft from his own government.

On the other hand was businessman Jared Oluoch Kwaga, who investigators claim is the mastermind of the multi-million-shilling heist, his wife Christine Akinyi Ochola, mother Penina Auma, brothers Joram Opala Otieno and Patroba Ochanda Otieno, and sister-in-law Carolyne Anyango Ochola.

Also not spared were the companies they allegedly registered as conduits to siphon money from the county.

They include Misoft Ltd, Tarchdog Printers Ltd, Kajulu Business Ltd, Victorious Investments Ltd, and Deltrack ICT Services Ltd.

Obado and his co-accused face 28 charges, with the thrust of the prosecution’s case being that they conspired to defraud the county more than Sh300 million through deceit, conflict of interest and blatant theft.

On Wednesday, the Director Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji gave the order in what he termed a web of conspiracy involving business associates through proxy companies and county staff.

The DPP also gave consent to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) to go after 13 companies the governor and his co-accused allegedly dealt with in the execution of the fraud.


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