• Thu. Jul 25th, 2024

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Why DCI Officers Probing Fraudulent Payments at City Hall Transferred

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Some DCI who were almost completing investigations into suspected fraudulent payments at City Hall have shockingly been transferred.

One of the officers transferred include Isak Ogutu and another officer only identified as Wafula.

The above officers were investigating circumstances under which millions of shillings were paid to nine companies for services not rendered.

The investigations begun after the DCI boss Mohamed Amin through head of Investigations Bureau at the DCI headquarters David Birech wrote to Nairobi governor Johnson Sakaja in a letter dated 21st July,2023 demanding a list of tender documents, requisitions by user department, award contracts, delivery and inspection reports and all local purchase orders issued to profiled nine companies believed to have been used to siphon the money.

The  nine listed firms are believed to have been used in a suspected money laundering scheme and fraudulent payments for services not rendered.

The nine companies include; Larsen Investment Company, Burasha General Suppliers Limited, Tweem Limited and Future Link Limited.

Others are Cloud Mobile Technologies Limited, AR Pharmaceuticals Limited, Instabul Investment Limited, Ramecon Engineering Limited and Brigit West Limited.

“This office is investigating a case of suspected money laundering in which the Nairobi County Government is alleged to have fraudulently made payments to companies which did not render services.”

The letter from the DCI was received at City Hall by Nairobi County Secretary on July 24.

It is believed that the DCI had completed most of the investigation and had put the requisite files ready to hand over to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

However,some files had already been forwarded to the DPP for finalizing his part before making any decision.

It is not clear why the DCI officers were transferred but word has it that high level meetings have been held to try and slow down investigations at City Hall.

The DCI has in the last few months grilled at least 70 senior county officers who  recorded statements in relation to irregular payments, irregular procurement, proceeds of crime in the form of assets and suspected revenue diversion.

At least over 6 City Hall staff have recorded statements at DCI and EACC.

Those who top the list and have recorded statements more than once include Chief Officer in charge of Finance, Asha Abdi, Head of Treasury Martha Wambugu, Chief Cashier, Shadrack Nyamai and Peter Gitau who is also in the finance department and has since been moved from his department.

Finance Executive Charles Kerich, Head of Procurement Richard Mogaka and have also recorded statements.

Others are, Ambrose Musau, Vivian Mavua, Beth Muthoni, Denis Muia, Brian Oyando, Kevin Musamia, the officers have gained massive from corruption dealings, his main clients are suppliers and contractors from the Somali community and a few Kikuyus, he is currently building state-of-the-art-house.

Others are Stephen Mafura, easy panty remover Mary Maina Wangui girlfriend to former acting county secretary Jairus Musumba.

According to our source, the City Hall staff issued contradicting statements while some passed blame to their seniors or juniors while some denied interacting with documents presented to them.

Both the DCI and EACC escalated their investigation targeting City Hall staff after the former in August, obtained orders to freeze a city hall employee’s wealth of approximately Sh 643.2 million.

According to the EACC, the Nairobi County Development Control Officer earning about Sh 55,000 monthly, was unable to satisfactorily explain how he was able to raise such riches.

The DCI has also been probing circumstances under which the Controller of Budget (CoB) Margaret Nyakang’o declined to approve Sh1.5billion expenditure requisitions they made to pay legal fees and development expenditure made without proper supportive documents.

The Nairobi county government had planned to effect payments amounting to Sh2 billion controversially to 19 select law firms as pending bills without proper documentation.

Further, City Hall cartels made an additional clearance request of Sh379 million categorized as development expenditure of building and construction supplies claimed to be ‘air supply’.

The schedule of 19 firms to be paid did  not include the invoices’ dates; therefore, it was  difficult to ascertain whether they are pending bills or related to works done and invoiced in the current financial year.

Through a letter dated June 27, 2023, Ref: COB/NBI/001/171(11), Nyakang’o noted that the Nairobi county government did not provide the pending bills payment plan that would enable the matching of individual payees to the requisitions.

“Further, it is difficult to match the proposed payments with the pending bills report earlier presented to this office,” the CoB adds in part.

Sakaja’s administration made the twin requisitions vide letters referenced as Ref NRB/FIN/1/2824/2023 dated June 19, 2023 amounting to Sh562, 124,660 and Ref NRB/FIN/1/2825/2023 dated June 19, 2023 amounting to Sh509, 152, 645.

Nyakang’o instructed the County Treasury to provide the basis for the legal fees, status of each court case including copies of judgement where applicable.

Also, the CoB’s office demanded a clear breakdown detailing the criteria used in the selection of the said payments, the recommended ‘first-in-first-out’ method used in identifying the bills and information on whether the proposed payment is a partial payment or a final payment to the legal firms.

The payments were blocked through a lawsuit filed by lawyer Clinton Mwale against the Nairobi County government as first respondent, Nairobi governor Sakaja as second respondent and Law Society of Kenya as an interested party.

According to documents filed in court, the profiled law firms cited and profiled as among those set to be paid include; Makallah Theuri & Company Advocates (Sh60 million), L.N Nyaribo & Company (Sh50 million), Okatch & Partners (70 million), Okubasu Munene & Kazungu Advocates (Sh30 million), Gikunda Miriti & Company (Sh67 million) and Masire & Mogusu (Sh27.5 million).

Others are; Anne Munene & Company (Sh34 million), Koceyo & Company Advocates (Sh43.8million), Roba & Associates (Sh51.8million), Ummi Bashir & Company Advocates (Sh32 million), J.W Wachira Advocates (Sh58 million), Momanyi and Associates (Sh91 million), Jamal Bake & Associates (Sh47 million) and Bespoke Insurance Brokers Limited (Sh28 million).

Additionally, Osoro Onyiego and Manyara Advocates (Sh30 million), Swanya and Company Advocates (Sh2.2 million), Arati and Company (2.15million), KO Advocates (Sh20 million), Moronge Advocates (Sh10 million) and Ojienda Co. Advocates (Sh5 million).

In March last year, the Nairobi County Assembly initiated a probe into the controversial Sh595 million legal fees paid to several law firms at City Hall.

The inquiry by the Nairobi County Assembly Public Accounts Committee followed an audit query by the Auditor General into the county executive’s legal fees expenditure.

According to the audit report, the county government made large payments as legal fees to various firms that offered legal services to the county.

However, the report said, the county executive did not provide documents such as the nature of disputes, approvals for procurement of professional services records, records of services rendered and contract agreements for audit review.

The law firms included Munikah and Co Advocates, Ataka Kimori and Okoth Advocates, Abdullahi and Co Advocates, Musyoki Mogaka and Co Advocates, Koceyo and Co Advocates, Kwanga Mboya and Co Advocates, and Magoro and Co Advocates.

Governor Sakaja is believed to have been working hard behind the scenes to halt investigations that if finalized to the end may lead to his impeachment.He is believed to have held meetings with senior police officers and powerful people in president Ruto’s administration to seek help.

The Governor has since banned any media interviews that he has not approved and has asked all officers to stop sharing critical documents with the media.

In a memo dated Tuesday, December 19, Acting County Secretary and Head of Public Service Patrick Analo asked all County Executive Committee (CEC) members, chief officers and county directors to seek Sakaja’s permission before media engagements.

Analo insisted that they were not muzzling the media, but it was meant to enhance coordination, arguing that it would be good for every officer to be guided on what to say about a particular department.

Analo himself is said to have bribed the Public Accounts Committee not to summon him over the fraudulent payments.

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