War on graft: Governor Obado, four children deny Sh73m fraud charges

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BY NAMULONGO PETER,NAIROBI,27TH AUG 2020-Migori Governor Okoth Obado and his four children have denied the charge of conspiracy to commit a crime  relating to fraud of Sh73.4 million from Migori County.

Obado and his children were on Thursday arraigned in court to answer to the graft charges before Chief Magistrate Lawrence Mugambi.

They appeared alongside seven others.

It is alleged that being the governor held an indirect private interest in several contracts that paid money into his children’s accounts.

Obado was separately charged with eight counts of conflict of interest for the different times that each of the children received money in their accounts from the county’s coffers.

The governor has also denied a charge of money laundering.

Obado and his son Dan Okoth have been jointly charged with money laundering and it’s alleged that they entered into an arrangement of transfer of Sh10 million for the purchase of a Land cruiser vehicle knowing that the said money was a proceed of crime.

The governor will be charged separately on 28 accounts with each of his children for the different amounts of money that was sent to them.

Obado surrendered to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission in Kisii on Wednesday.

Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji said on Tuesday investigations revealed the cash was used to pay school fees, upkeep, maintenance and medical bills for the governor’s children studying in Australia, Scotland and the United Kingdom.

Reliable sources  from the EACC, indicates  how Sh38.9 million of county cash was wired directly to Obado’s children from major suppliers said to be the governor’s proxies.

Achola Dan Okoth received Sh11.3 million, Susan Scarlet Akoth Sh1.9 million and Jerry Zachary Okoth Sh2.3 million.

The three will be charged alongside their father and sister Evelyne Zachary.

Deltrack ICT Services owned by Joram Opala, Kwaga’s brother, was paid Sh30.6 million. He then wired Sh10.8 million to Achola.

Three of the firms associated with the Kwaga family were also paid Sh163.5 million by the Migori government.

They are Pesulus Supplies and Kajulu Business Ltd owned by Kwaga’s mother Peninah Auma, and Atinus Services owned by Kwaga’s wife Christine Akinyi Ochola.

After receipt of the cash, Sh20 million was wired to Misoft Company Ltd co-owned by Kwaga and his wife Akinyi.

From the accounts of this firm, Sh9.9 was transferred directly to Obado’s children, the EACC dossier indicates.

Susan was paid Sh5.9, Achola, Sh1.8 million and Jerry Sh2.2 million.

Tarchdog Printers Ltd owned by Kwaga’s brother Joram Opala Otieno was also separately paid Sh37.4 million by the county.

Of the cash, Sh2.5 million was wired to Achola and Jerry.

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