It is end of the road for Migori Governor Okoth Obado and his proxies whom he is alleged to have used to siphon millions of county funds to local and offshore accounts.
Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji on Tuesday approved the arrest and prosecution of Obado and his three children, dealing a staggering blow to the family as the governor is separately battling murder charges.
Obado will now be barred from accessing office, a precedent that has already been set in other graft cases.
Also to be charged is Jared Kwaga — said to be Obado’s closest proxy in the siphoning of county cash. Kwaga, also roped in his own family — including his wife and mother.
Also to be charged are directors of 11 companies that Obado and his associates registered soon after he became governor through which they pocketed millions of shillings in “fictitious” contracts.
“The investigations were in respect of Sh73.4 million being sums indirectly received by the governor Migori county through his children who received multiple payments from companies trading with the Migori county government between 2013-2017,” Haji said in a statement to newsrooms.
According to an audit trail by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, the companies that were trading with the Migori county government wired Sh38.9 million to the accounts of Obado’s three children.
The money was used as their school fees, upkeep, maintenance and medical bills in Australia, Scotland and United Kingdom.
The three children who will be charged alongside their father are Achola Dan Okoth, Susan Scarlet Okoth and Jerry Zachary Okoth.
“Some of the monies were also traced to have bought two motor vehicles of make, Toyota Land Cruiser V8,” Haji said.
Obado has had a troubled career after his re-election in 2017.
In September 2018, the governor was arrested over the gruesome murder of his pregnant girlfriend Sharon Otieno.
Obado’s wife was also questioned in relation to the gangland killing that shocked the nation
In the new case, Kwaga’s wife Christine Akinyi Ochola, his mother Peninah Auma Otago and his brothers Joram Opala Otieno as well as Patroba Ochanda will also be charged.
Also to be arraigned is Kwaga’s sister-in law Carolyne Anyango Ochola.
Recently, EACC discovered that Kwaga had purchased a Sh35 million house in Loresho, yet it was Obado’s daughter Everlyne who was collecting the rent.
EACC chief executive officer Twalib Mbarak said the 23 persons and entities will be charged with, among others, conspiracy to commit an offense of corruption, conflict of interest, money laundering and unlawful acquisition of public property.
According to the documents EACC filed in court, Kwaga’s companies were paid Sh1.6 billion since 2013.
“These funds have been used to acquire and construct properties worth over Sh1 billion registered in the governor’s and Kwaga’s names. We have traced these properties,” EACC said in court papers.
In 2018, the High Court issued orders barring Kwaga and his family from selling or transferring about 65 properties — including maisonettes, apartments and land — all valued at over Sh382 million.
The High Court restrained the owners and interested parties or their agents from “transferring, charging, disposing, wasting or any other way alienating the properties.”
The DPP is likely to ask the court that the properties be surrendered to the government.