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Kisumu Assembly officers arrested over graft claims

Suspended Kisumu County Assembly Clerk Nelco Sagwe arrives at Kisumu Railway Police Station yesterday. [PHOTO: TITUS MUNALA/STANDARD]

Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) officers yesterday arrested four Kisumu County Assembly officials over Sh17.4 corruption allegations.

The officers arrested Speaker Anne Adul, Majority Leader Samwel Ong’ow, Minority Leader Edwin Anayo and Assembly Clerk Nelco Sagwe in their homes within Kisumu County.

The four, who are expected to be arraigned before an Anti-Corruption Court in Kisumu, were take to Railway Police Station where they were questioned for the better part of the day.

EACC had rough time arresting Ong’ow and two of its officers were assaulted by youths allegedly hired by the Masogo Ward Representative as they went to pick him at his home in Awasi.

Addressing the media after the arrests, Acting Deputy EACC Director in charge of Western Regional office Edwin Waudo said eight people will be charged on several counts.

Mr Waudo said Ong’ow and the youths will be charged with assault and resisting arrest.

“It was at the point of his (Ong’ow’s) arrest that he was rescued by people who had been mobilised for that purpose and the people attacked the anti-corruption officers. Some of them have been identified and they have to face charges,” said Waudo.

EACC has also arrested Samwel Odera and Mirriam Omondi, who are directors of a company based in Mombasa, for facilitating deals involving three controversial international trips by members of the county assembly to Israel, China and Singapore last year.

In the first account, Ms Adul, her husband Elija, Mr Odera, Ms Omondi will be charged with conspiracy to defraud Kisumu County Government of Sh17.4m for the three international trips.

Ms Adul, Sagwe, Ong’ow, Anayo and the County Assembly Public Service Board will also be charged for willful failure to comply with the law relating to procurement by single-sourcing a company to facilitate the three trips.

The two directors; Mr Odera and Ms Omondi will face a third charge of fraudulent acquisition of public property by acquiring Sh15.4 million from Kisumu County Government to facilitate the trips.

“Two people, Margret Jobita and Elly Adul are, however, not in custody but they will be among the ones who will be arraigned in court. I will not give further particulars as at now,” said Waudo.

The assembly officials were, however, released on a cash bail of Sh50,000 each and are expected in court at 8am today.

Waudo said the commission was still investigating more cases within the assembly and more arrests are expected.

Earlier, Acting Speaker Gabriel Ochieng who visited the suspects at the police station said they had been summoned to make statements over corruption allegations.

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