An accountant at the Ministry of Interior has struck a deal with the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) to return a portion of the Sh111 million wealth he acquired through corruption.
Thomas Gitau Njogu signed the consent order with EACC in which he agreed to withdraw an appeal he filed at the appellate court challenging a High Court decision that he forfeits the assets to the State and in return get back some of the properties.
As a result, EACC through lawyer Grace Maina has filed a suit seeking to be allowed to sell Njogu’s multi-million shillings properties in Nairobi and Kajiado to recover the embezzled funds used to purchase them.
“As per the agreement, Njogu and his partner Teresa Njeri Gitau have surrendered original title deeds to the landed properties in Nairobi and Kajiado which we are seeking to sell by way of public auction to recover the lost funds,” said Maina.
EACC said it has identified an auctioneer to carry out the exercise and wanted the court to allow it to dispose of the properties and have the money forfeited to the State. Under the deal, Njogu agreed to surrender the title of the land in Thome Estate and the building erected on it, the land in Kajiado, a Toyota Hilux car and Sh33 million he misappropriated from the Ministry of Interior.
In return, the commission agreed to allow Njogu, his partner and their three companies Njegit Investment Ltd, Wangmug Enterprises and Njetash Enterprises to access funds which had been frozen at Equity Bank, Cooperative Bank, Family Bank and Barclays Bank.
The amounts which were held at the ten bank accounts formed half of the Sh111 million properties EACC claimed the senior accountant acquired through corruption.
EACC claimed that Njogu illegally acquired the massive wealth within a span of one year despite his net monthly salary of Sh93,000.
According to EACC, it was not possible for a State official to have such wealth within a short time even if he had other sources of income apart from the salary which led to the conclusion that he was involved in corruption and money laundering.
“We established that Njogu’s net salary between January 2016 and July 2017 amounted to Sh1.8 million but he had amassed great wealth during his tenure as a senior assistant accountant well beyond his legitimate sources of wealth,” said EACC.
A forensic audit of Njogu’s bank transactions filed in court established a trail of suspicious deposits and withdrawals which were traced to petty cash transactions from the Interior Ministry.
The High Court then declared the unexplained assets were liable for forfeiture to the State but Njogu appealed before reaching a deal to surrender half and retain the other part.