Former Principal Secretary Omollo appeals cash forfeiture

Thursday, September 3rd, 2020 00:00 |
Former Youth Affairs Principal Secretary Lilian Omollo. Photo/PD/File

Former Youth and Gender Principal Secretary (PS), Lilian Omollo yesterday  appealed a decision to have her forfeit to the State the Sh30 million being held in her bank accounts.

She wants the court of appeal to set aside the entire Judgment and vacate all freezing and preservation orders over the bank accounts which belong to her and her three children as well as her companies.

Justice Mumbi Ngugi had in April this year ruled that Omollo had failed to explain the source of the funds held at Sahara Consultants, Lidi Holding Limited, Lidi Estates Limited, Stephanie Marigu Mbogo, Sheela Wangari Mbogo  and Shalom Malaika Kamweti.

According to the Judge the only conclusion was that the funds were proceeds of crime.

Omollo in her appeal however claims the Judge erred in law by purporting to waive Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) legal obligation to prove through evidence that the funds targeted for forfeiture indeed constituted proceeds of crime.

According to the former PS, the Judge erred in law by also waiving the legal onus on the Assets Recovery Agency to discharge the initial burden of proving that the funds constituted monies stolen from NYS which fell under the Ministry of Public Service, Youth  and Gender  for the period of 2015 and 2018.

“The Honorable Judge erred in law by failing to determine the constitutional threshold as regards to the appellant’s individual and collective right to be informed in the forfeiture proceedings of the alleged crime from which they derived economic benefit with sufficient details to enable them to prepare for the defense,” her lawyers said in court documents.

Omollo contends that the Judge erred in law by ignoring evidence on record and deciding the matter based on extraneous, irrelevant and unproven considerations.

“The Judge erred in law by predetermining the appellant guilty without any evidence of loss of public funds,” stated the court documents.

According to the former PS, the Judge also erred by holding Assets Recovery Agency had shown that public funds were lost at NYS yet no such proof was adduced by the agency showing loss of public funds at NYS whether through an investigative report or by other evidence.

It is her argument that Justice Ngugi erred by finding that she had tacitly conceded in submissions that funds were lost at NYS yet the submissions bear no such concession.

“The Judge erred in fact by ignoring the proven fact that the Auditor General’s report dated April 24, 2018 confirmed that there were no unresolved audit matters or pending audit queries within the state department of Public Service and Youth for the year June 30, 2017,” she claimed.

It is her argument that the Judge erred in fact by ignoring and failing to consider the pleaded and unchallenged fact that she was not a destitute and the funds in the accounts originated from a considerable income from salaried employment with NEPAD, bank loans and other commercial ventures.

She says the judge erred in fact and in law and perpetuated actual judicial bias and prejudice against her by failing to order a site visit to Uyoma Farm.

“The Judge erred by ignoring and failing to consider that the proved economic viability  and income derived from Uyoma farm and further erred by failing to exempt  from the forfeiture order of Sh390,000 proven as legitimate farm income,” she said in court documents.

It is her argument that Justice Ngugi allowed  the forfeiture  application without evidence  and without legal soundness thereby causing a total failure of Justice.

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