Former Migori Governor Okoth Obado is yet to surrender to the anti-corruption agency the motor vehicles he allegedly acquired using funds embezzled from the county government, the anti-corruption court heard yesterday.
The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) told Justice Esther Maina that Mr Obado, his son Dan Ochola and businessman Oliver Okeno Odhiambo have not complied with the court orders issued on July 21, 2022.
In the orders, the court had directed them to surrender three motor vehicles to EACC within seven days together with their logbooks pending determination of the forfeiture suit filed by the anti-corruption agency.
"The respondents have only partially complied with the court orders. They have only surrendered one motor vehicle," EACC told court yesterday.
However, Justice Maina told the agency to file a formal application to compel the respondents comply with the orders of the court.
EACC further informed the judge that it had reduced the number of witnesses in the forfeiture suit from 54 to 25.
The witnesses will be adduced in court to prove how the former governor, his children, his aide Peter Odoyo Kwaga and their trading companies acquired Sh73.5 million wealth illegally.
Also read:EACC freezes Governor Obado's assets
Justice Maina also granted the respondents 21 days to file their responses to the forfeiture suit.
The judge questioned why Mr Obado and his co-defendants had not filed their pleadings on time as she declined their argument that the delay was occasioned by the general elections. She fixed the case for hearing from December 6 to 8.
In the case EACC is seeking to seize assets associated with the former governor and his children such as a house in Loresho Ridge Nairobi and three high-end cars. The assets have since been temporarily frozen and the court barred the governor from collecting rent from the residential house.
The court blocked him from selling, charging, leasing or developing the property pending determination of the suit. 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.
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 lodged the suit claiming Mr Obado's luxury cars and property were obtained from proceeds of graft.
According to EACC, several people who are proxies of the governor registered companies with the intention of securing high valued contracts from Migori County government.
EACC said proceeds from the alleged economic criminal activities were channeled 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.