Wako taken to task over Anglo Leasing

Attorney General Amos Wako. He told Parliament that the contract for the modernisation of security equipment and accessories for the Kenya Police had been cancelled. Photo/ FILE

Kenya Attorney General Amos Wako was on Tuesday accused of abdicating his role as the government’s chief legal advisor by sanctioning the Anglo Leasing contracts which cost the taxpayer billions of shillings.

However, Mr Wako told his Parliamentary accusers that, so far, Sh1 billion has been recovered from four Anglo Leasing-type contracts which were terminated.

Chief perpetrators

He also named Mr Anura Perreira and a Mr Kamani as the chief perpetrators of the scandal.

MPs Isaac Ruto (Chepalungu, ODM), Mithika Linturi (Igembe South, Kanu), Eugene Wamala (Saboti, PNU), Bonny Khalwale (Ikolomani, New Ford Kenya) and Martha Karua (Gichugu, PNU) had accused the AG of failing to advise the President and the government that the contracts were dubious.

But the AG maintained he only signed the legal opinions in respect to the contracts after they had been concluded by the respective ministers or permanent  secretaries.

“A legal opinion is signed by the AG only after the contracts have been duly concluded by the relevant ministers or permanent secretaries.

The legal opinion is meant to certify that the signatories to the contracts are duly appointed and are the holders of their respective positions as at the time of the signing of the contracts,” the AG argued.

On a point of order, Mr Khalwale took Mr Wako to task, questioning his role in the issuance of several promissory notes that committed the government into paying billions of shillings for fraudulent contracts.

But the AG stood his ground, insisting that the promissory  notes he signed were valid, binding and “enforceable at the time of their signing.”
“We subsequently established that the agreements were being used to commit fraud,” the AG explained.

Mr Khalwale also accused Mr Wako of frustrating investigations into the Anglo Leasing-type contracts undertaken by the Serious Crimes Office of the UK Government by failing to offer information sought by the investigators, leading to the termination of the investigations.

Ms Karua had sought to know the legal status of 12 of the Anglo Leasing-related contracts and, further, to know how many cases had been filed against the government arising from the contracts. Ms Karua also sought to know the current status of each of the cases.

Cancelled contracts

Responding, Wako told the house that the contract for the modernisation of security equipment and accessories for the Kenya Police had been cancelled, while that relating to the oceanographic survey vessel had been referred to the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague, the Netherlands, for international commercial arbitration.

Wako also told MPs that the contracts relating to the Kenya Prisons Security and Telecommunications Project Phase one, the Kenya Police Airwing project and the Kenya Police Security Equipment had been concluded. He further told the House that 10 cases had been filed against the government as a result of the contracts.

Welcome!

You're all set to enjoy unlimited Prime content.