Court detains Governor Obado, his four children after denying Ksh.73M fraud charges

Court detains Governor Obado, his four children after denying Ksh.73M fraud charges
Migori Govenor Okoth Obado and his co-accused at the anti-corruption court on August 27, 2020. PHOTO| COURTESY

Migori Governor Okoth Obado and 10 other persons will remain in police custody until next week pending a ruling on their bail application.

Obado and his co-accused, who include his four children, were Thursday charged with 28 counts of economic crime, money laundering and conflict of interest for fraudulently acquiring Ksh.73.4 million from the County Government of Migori.

They denied all the charges with Senior Principal Magistrate Lawrence Mugambi directing they be detained until Monday when a ruling on their bail application will be delivered.

The Governor is accused of benefiting indirectly from Ksh.73.4 million that was paid to his four children who received payments from companies that traded with the county Government of Migori between the years 2013 and 2017 when Obado served his first term.

The web of suspected corruption indicates the governor worked with his friend, Jared Peter Kwanga, now termed by investigators as his proxy who then recruited his family members into the chain.

First was Kwanga’s wife Christine Akinyi with whom Kwanga are co-directors at Misoft Company limited, but also owns two other business entities that are listed as suppliers to Migori Government.

Kwanga also roped in his two brothers Joram Otieno and Patroba Otieno who separately own a total of seven companies that also allegedly supplied to Migori County and received payments. As if not enough, Kwanga, Patroba and Joram are believed to have roped in their elderly mother Peninah Auma Otago said to own two business entities also to be charged.

Kwanga enlisted his sister-in-law Carolyn Anyango Ochola who owns a company that allegedly supplied to Migori County.

The alleged embezzlement of funds is said to have resulted in the payment of Ksh.73.4 million from the Migori County Government coffers.

The money was paid to 13 firms owned by six of the suspects. But the money trail followed to three children of Governor Obado, his two sons and a daughter who received in their accounts up to Ksh.38.9 million that they used to finance their school fees, upkeep and medical bills while in school in Scotland, United Kingdom and Australia, while part of it was used to buy two sport utility vehicles.

The remainder of Ksh.34.5 million is said to have found its way to Obado’s household when a house was procured in Loresho Ridge, and registered under his daughter Evelyn Okoth.

The suspects were on Wednesday processed at EACC Regional offices in Kisii County before embarking on a six-hour travel to EACC’s police cell at the Integrity Centre in Nairobi.

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Story By Benjamin Muriuki
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