EACC raids Wajir in fresh fraud probe

Thursday, August 19th, 2021 00:00 |
Former Wajir Governor Abdi Mahamud appearing before the Senate in May. Photot/PD/FILE

The anti-corruption commission has kicked off investigations into alleged gross mismanagement of public funds in Wajir County government following the ouster of former governor Mohamed Abdi Mahamud in May.

Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) is probing allegations of financial impropriety, which largely led to his impeachment proceeding of the former county chief.

On Friday, detectives raided Wajir County Treasury and procurement offices where they carted away large volumes of documents to aid in their investigations.

Sources at EACC headquarters said tender, procurement and payment vouchers are some of the documents that were seized.

Detectives also raided suspected offices and homes where they seized mobile phones belonging to some top county officials.

In an interview with People Daily yesterday, EACC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Twalib Mbarak confirmed the raid saying his commission is investigating allegations of embezzlement of county funds and other malpractices during the regime of Mohamed Abdi Mahamud.

According to Mbarak, his team has been and is still recording statements from witnesses and persons of interests adding embers of County Assemblies (MCAs) have been instrumental in the probe.

 “Yes we are investigating issues of corruption in Wajir county government. And I can confirm that a search was conducted in various offices to facilitate our investigations,” Mbarak said.

“We are also perusing through the voluminous documents presented during the impeachment process at the senate,” the CEO added.

Asked of the raid, County secretary Abdullahi Hassan Maalim rubbished the inquiry saying he was “incompetent to address himself on the matter’ that only Governor Ahmed Ali Muktar could respond.

Nevertheless, an MCA from Wajir County Assembly, who was also a star witness during the impeachment proceedings confided to People Daily that he had recorded statement with officials of EACC and provided his evidence as exactly he adduced it before Senate.

According to him, EACC is interested to establish the extent of the mismanagement of public funds, money laundering, favouritism and embezzlement of funds during the regime of Mohamed Abdi.

Impeccable sources have also revealed to People Daily that the anti-graft body has trained its guns on five businessmen who featured prominently in the impeachment proceeding.

A section of  Wajir MCAs had the businessmen loosely referred to as ‘errand boys’ owning proxy companies that won tenders and transacted business on behalf of the governor’s spouse Kheira Omar.

They are Omar Abdullahi, Abdinasir Bishar Ali, Mohamed Bishar Ali among others who are both alleged to be associates of the former county chief.

Cumulatively, the trio alongside other proxies’ businessmen allegedly own at least 13 companies that did business with the county.

These companies, were allegedly being used as proxies by the governor to siphon public funds between the periods of October 9 2017 and November 28 2019.

This even as the EACC is said to be examining huge withdrawals and deposits to the former governor’s spouse account held at Kenya Commercial Bank.

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