EACC freezes Governor Obado's assets

Okoth Obado

Migori Governor Okoth Obado.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

The High Court has allowed the anti-corruption watchdog to seize assets of Governor Okoth Obado worth Sh73 million, pending determination of a forfeiture suit that claims the wealth was acquired using funds embezzled from Migori county government.

Among the frozen assets is the governor’s residential property situated in Loresho Ridge Nairobi and three high-end cars. Justice Esther Maina also barred the governor from collecting rent from the residential house.

The judge blocked him from selling, charging, leasing or developing the property pending determination of the suit filed by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC).  In addition, he was barred from selling the three vehicles.

“Pending the hearing and determination of this matter an order his granted that the monthly rental income of Sh143,000 deprived from renting out of the Loresho Ridge House in the joint earning accounts in name of EACC and Mr Obado,” Justice Maina stated.

The Judge also issued orders barring Mr Obado and his four children - Evelyne Adhiambo, Dan Achola Okoth, Scarlet Susan Okoth and Jerry Zachary Okoth - his proxy Jared Peter Odoyo Kwaga, their servants or agents from disposing or transferring the assets.

Mr Obado, his son Achola as well as Oliver Okeno Odhiambo, who are in possession of the motor vehicles, were also ordered to surrender the same to EACC within seven days together with their logbooks.

EACC is seeking to recover the assets on belief that the wealth was allegedly looted from the county coffers through fraudulent contracts.

The Anti-Graft body filed an application under a certificate of urgency claiming Mr Obado's luxury cars and property were obtained from proceeds of graft.

“It is therefore just and fit to prohibit the defendants, their agents, servants and/or any other persons from alienating, wasting, transferring, disposing or in any other way dealing with the properties,” EACC said.

According to EACC, several people who are proxies of the governor registered several companies with the intention of securing high valued contracts from Migori County government.

EACC said proceeds from the alleged economic criminal activities were channelled into bank accounts of the Migori governor.

The Commission also indicated that a sum of Sh38.9 million was used to pay the university fees of the governor’s children and their upkeep while part of the remaining money was used to purchase luxury vehicles.

The vehicles were registered under Dan Achola Okoth and Oliver Odhiambo. The court documents also revealed that the remaining Sh34,525,000 was used to purchase a house in Loresho Ridge, Nairobi.

EACC said it instituted the suit after receiving information that a few persons, well known to be proxies of Obado, his four children and 13 firms registered for the sole purpose of procuring high value contracts from the County Government.

The companies are listed in court papers as Misoft limited, Dankey Press Limited, Atinus Services Limited, Tarchdog Printers Limited, Mactebac Contractors, Selectrack Consultants, Joyush Business Limited, Swyfcon Engineering, Dolphus Software Limited, Kajulu Business Limited, Pesulus Suppliers Limited and Victorious Investment Limited.

It added that the companies were for acquisition of public funds through fictitious and irregular contracts secured uncompetitively through circumvention of the procurement laws.

EACC claimed that Mr Obado, in abuse of his position of trust and in conflict of interest of his position as Governor, amassed assets valued at Sh73,474,376 procured with proceeds of fictitious contracts with the County Government.

“Following the said acts, Governor Obado benefitted from the contracts through monies wired to his children for their school fees and upkeep in Universities,” EACC said in the court papers.

The case will be mentioned on September 18, 2022 for the hearing of the main petition.