What you need to know:
- Prosecutors have pieced together money trails.
- They want to prove to courts that circuitous financial transactions between companies and multiple beneficiaries were effected but the money eventually went back to the governors.
The corruption cases against governors Mike Sonko, Okoth Obado and Muthomi Njuki detail a web of companies in multiple bank transfers running into millions of shillings.
Prosecutors have pieced together money trails to prove to courts that circuitous financial transactions between companies and multiple beneficiaries were effected, but that the money eventually ended up in the governors' pockets.
For instance, the case against Mr Obado, whom prosecutors allege received Sh73.4 million through his children, involves 11 accused persons and 13 companies.
A trail of transactions totalling Sh646 million paid to the companies uncovers numerous albeit smaller payments that together add up to the Sh73.4 million that prosecutors allege went to the governor.
The companies wired Sh38.9 million to the accounts of the governor’s children – Dan Achola, Susan Okoth and Jerry Okoth – broken into nearly a dozen transactions, according to flow charts in the prosecution’s case.
According to the prosecution, the money paid school fees, upkeep, maintenance and medical bills in Australia, Scotland and the United Kingdom.
Some of the cash bought two Toyota Land Cruisers V8.
An additional Sh34.5 million that prosecutors allege was used to purchase a house in Loresho Ridge for the governor’s daughter, Evelyne, flows from a web of more than 20 transactions.
Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji has alleged the directors and proprietors of the companies, which traded with County Government of Migori between 2013 and 2017, were proxies of the governor.
They include three brothers – Jared Kwaga, Patroba Ochanda and Joram Opala. The brothers are charged alongside their mother, Penina Auma, and Jared’s wife, Christine Akinyi, and his sister-in-law, Carolyne Onyango.
Mr Obado and the other 16 accused persons have denied the charges, which include conflict of interest, money laundering and fraudulent acquisition of public property.
Mr Obado was released on Sh20 million bond with a surety of the same amount or cash bail of Sh8.75 million. The governor and accused county officials have been prohibited from accessing their offices.
The others were released on varying bond terms ranging between Sh2 million and Sh15 million.
All accused were cautioned against interfering with witnesses prior to and in the course of the trial.
The case against Mr Njuki, county officials and traders relates to alleged irregular award of a Sh34.9 million solid waste project.
The prosecution alleges the incinerator was imported at a cost of Sh3.3 million by Generation Electronics and Allied Company Limited, a firm whose director is listed in court papers as the governor’s wife, Margaret Mugweru.
According to investigations, Westomaxx Investments Limited, which was paid Sh34.9 million by the county for installation of the incinerator, had procured the equipment from Generation Electronic and Allied Company limited.
The DPP claims the audit trail of the monies paid to Westomaxx Investments revealed it was wired to various companies and individuals in at least 10 transactions of varying amounts.
Among them are Japheth Nyange (Sh8.7 million), Kenneth Mucuiya (Sh5.2 million), Kenstar Electrical and Hardware Limited (Sh4.7 million) and Caroline Wambui (Sh985, 000).
The governor, his wife, brother-in-law George Mugweru and 13 county officials as well as businessmen have pleaded not guilty to the charges of embezzlement of public funds.
In the case against Mr Sonko, prosecutors detail more than a dozen transactions from which they allege the governor pocketed Sh39 million.
The governor and 15 co-accused have pleaded not guilty to the charges, which include money laundering, receiving bribes and conflict of interest.
In another ongoing corruption case, former National Land Commission (NLC) officials are accused of paying a firm Sh109 million for land whose value was Sh34 million.
Kenya National Highways Authority wanted the land for the construction of Mombasa Southern Bypass and Kipevu New Highway Container Terminal link road.
The NLC paid Tornado Carriers Limited Sh109 million for the land and prosecutors allege the former lands officials pocketed kickbacks. Some 24 suspects have denied the charges.