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Economy

Firm in Kidero graft charge 'did not file tax returns'

Evans Kidero
Former Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

A company facing fraud charges together with former Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero did not file income tax returns for three years, a Nairobi court heard on Monday.

Testifying before Chief Magistrate Douglas Ogoti, Mr Kennedy Wakoli, an assistant manager at Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) said the company — Lodwar Wholesalers, was a general trader and mostly dealt with sugar.

He told the court that the company did not file returns for the years 2014 to 2016 but subsequently filed returns on iTax for 2014 and 2015. The company’s turnover was Sh201,375,260 in 2014 and Sh225,407,300 in 2015.

The witness said while analysing bank statement from the company, he noticed several wire transfers from City Hall to Lodwar Wholesalers, from November 2013 to March 2016, totalling to Sh125 million. There were a total of 17 transfers.

Mr Wakoli told the court that the company purchased sugar from Mumias, Kibos and Nzoia sugar companies and when they wrote to Mumias, the company provided ledgers of purchases from Lodwar totalling to Sh681 million.

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Evidence presented in court last week showed that the money would later be transferred to Mr Kidero’s accounts.

But yesterday while being questioned by Dr Kidero’s lawyer James Orengo, Mr Wakoli said the payments made to Dr Kidero arose from the sale of a motor vehicle — Range Rover, which was sold at Sh25 million.

Mr Kidero is alleged to have received Sh24 million from Lodwar Wholesalers.

The charges state that he allegedly received Sh14 million from the firm on August 24, 2014, and another Sh10 million from the same company on September 11, 2014.

The former Nairobi boss has been charged together with former chief officers in his administration over the alleged loss of Sh213 million. They have denied a total of 35 counts.

They have denied charges of corruption and economic crime including conspiracy to commit an offence of corruption, abuse of office, fraudulent acquisition of public property, dealing with suspect property, and unlawful failure to pay tax to a public body

Others facing the charges include former county secretary Lilian Ndegwa, former chief finance officer Jimmy Mutuku Kiamba and former minister in charge of finance and planning Gregory Mwakanongo.

The hearing continues.

, former accounting head Stephen Ogago Osiro, former acting chief finance officer Luke Mugo and former acting head of Treasury Maurice Ochieng Okere.

Mr John Githua and Grace Njeri of Lodwar Wholesalers and Ngurumani Traders are accused of fraudulently receiving payments from the county government.

The charges against them state that they conspired to commit fraud, which led to the loss of Sh213,327,300 at the City Hall between January 16, 2014, and January 25, 2016.

They allegedly conspired to commit corruption by authorising payment to various companies, for services not rendered.

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