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Obure and three others to go on trial over Anglo-Leasing scam

NATIONAL
By Paul Ogemba | September 25th 2021

Former Treasury Finance Secretary Samuel Bundotich, former PS Sammy Kyungu, former Finance Minister Chris Obure and former Postmaster General Francis Chahonyo at the Milimani Law Courts. [Fidelis Kabunyi, Standard]

Transport Chief Administrative Secretary Chris Obure risks a long jail term after a court found that he has a case to answer in the multi-billion shilling Anglo-Leasing scandal.

Anti-Corruption Court Magistrate Anne Mwangi ruled that the prosecution has proved its case against Obure, former Transport PS Sammy Kyungu and former Finance Secretary Samuel Bundotich.

“Having analysed and evaluated the evidence presented by the prosecution, the court is satisfied that the prosecution has established a prima facie case to warrant putting all the accused persons on their defence,” ruled Maina.

The magistrate’s decision means that the former Kisii senator and his co-accused will have the turn to tell the court their side of the story to prove their innocence.

Obure, Kyungu and Bundotich were facing the charges alongside former Post-master General Francis Chahonyo, who died in June 2020.

Theirs is the first of three cases in which State claims close to Sh10 billion was lost through fraudulent contracts.

The other two still pending have businessmen Deepak Kamani, his brother Rashmi Kamani, former Permanent Secretaries Dave Mwangi and Joseph Magari, and former head of debt management at the Treasury David Onyonka.

The accused are said to have conspired to defraud Sh6.5 billion through computerisation of police projects, acquire Sh121 million to modernise police surveillance systems, failed to comply with procurement rules and engaging in the project without proper planning.

It’s alleged the offence was committed between March and July 2002 when Obure was the Minister for Finance.

The prosecution alleges the late Chahonyo and Kyungu were the initiators of the scam, Obure authorised the payments while Bundotich made the payments.

According to the charges, Obure granted special authorisation for execution of suppliers credit financial agreement between the government, Spacenet, Universal Satspace and First Mercantile Securities Corporation for data network project without due process.

Kyungu faced similar charges of abuse of office and breach of trust alongside the late Chahonyo.

Bundotich is alleged to have executed a deferred payment agreement between the government and First Mercantile Securities Corporation.

Should they be found guilty, the three could be fined up to three times the amount the government lost or face up to five years in jail.

The case will be heard on October 8.

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