EACC probes senior university staff over possible loss of Sh1.15b

The EACC headquarters in Nairobi.

Integrity Centre, the EACC headquarters in Nairobi. 

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

The anti-graft agency is investigating more than 20 senior officers at Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology and Mount Kenya University over allegations of irregularities in the acquisition of buildings that host Turkana University College in Lodwar.

The premises formerly formed the Lodwar campus of MKU and were acquired by Masinde Muliro between January 2016 and July 2019 for Sh1.15 billion to establish the constituent college.

Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) detective Maleya Omondi told Eldoret Principal Magistrate Naomi Wairimu that preliminary investigations had established that senior officers at Masinde Muliro conspired with several other institutions to commit irregularities in the purchase.

Applying for a warrant to investigate the bank accounts of officers suspected of benefiting from the payments, Ms Omondi told the court that investigations indicated that MKU received payments from Masinde Muliro in relation to the irregular acquisition of the campus.

The magistrate granted orders to investigate more than 40 bank accounts where the irregular payments might have been stashed.

The EACC wants to establish the holders of the accounts and affirm whether the suspects benefited from the lost money.

“It is necessary that the subject of the said account be investigated to establish the signatories to the targeted accounts at the time by obtaining documentary evidence in [the] form of statements, mandate cards, cheque images and any other documents with vital information in relation to our investigations,” the detective said in a sworn affidavit.

The magistrate directed the matter to be mentioned in court on July 27.

EACC sources revealed that most of the suspects had been questioned on the transaction.

The Nation has been told that EACC officers have been camping at the affected universities to gather more information on the matter.