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Economy

Ex-PS Omollo seeks Sh2 million monthly from frozen accounts

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Former Public Service principal secretary Lillian Mbogo Omollo. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Former Public Service principal secretary Lillian Mbogo Omollo has petitioned the court to release to her Sh2.26 million monthly from her frozen accounts, arguing she cannot meet her family food, housing and school needs.

The High Court in October froze the 10 accounts with Sh33.1 million belonging the former PS and her children on suspicion they were used as conduits for millions of shillings stolen at the National Youth Service.

Investigators have been looking into how Ms Omollo made cash deposits of millions of shillings into the accounts in months when theft of funds was reported at the NYS.

Wednesday, Ms Omollo, through lawyer Stephen Ligunya, wants the court to vary the freeze orders and allow her withdraw Sh6.8 million quarterly for basic needs.

The former PS reckons that she is struggling to feed and take her dependents to schools as well as meet mortgage payments. “The applicants have been deprived of the means to provide for their reasonable living expenses and basic needs which has caused them and their dependents undue hardships,” Ms Omollo said.

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She says the anti-money laundering law allows the court to revise freeze orders if suspects cannot afford reasonable living expenses and the hardships outweigh the loss of the frozen cash. The PS has listed her expenses as KCB group mortgage of Sh150,000, school fees for five children (Sh5.2m), school expenses to dependents (Sh139,800), salaries of six domestic workers (Sh219,000) and food (Sh150,000).

Other payments include upkeep for elderly parents (Sh150,000), utility bills of Sh102,079, fuel and maintenance of vehicles of Sh449, 000 and unforced expenses (Sh210,000).

Justice Hedwig Ong’udi directed the parties to file their submissions and appear on February 4. Ms Omollo’s seven bank accounts had Sh20.6 million while that of her children — Sheela Mbogo, Stephanie Mbogo and Shalom Kamwetu — had Sh12.5 million.

The Asset Recovery Agency (ARA) had revealed to the court that millions of shillings, including a cash deposit of Sh20 million on April 20, were wired to the accounts registered to Sheela, Stephanie and Shalom.

The deposits were made in a period when more than Sh1 billion was stolen from the NYS through fictitious invoices for goods such as firewood and stationery and multiple payments on one supplier invoice.

Businesspeople and dozens senior government officials, including Ms Omollo, were charged in May with various crimes related to the theft, marking a new effort to crackdown on widespread corruption.

Documents filed in court state that the frozen accounts were deposited between January 2016 and March 2018. Ms Omollo was appointed PS on December 18, 2015.

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