EACC nabs and quizzes Kidero over graft claims

Former Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero
Former Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero arrives at Intergrity Centre shortly after his arrest by EACC officers. PHOTO | KENNEDY KIMANTHI | NMG 

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) arrested former Nairobi governor Evans Kidero Wednesday evening over corruption allegations. He is set to be charged alongside other county officials.

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in a Twitter update, and an EACC statement, said investigations had unearthed a series of offences against the former governor and his officials but details were not disclosed.

“He was arrested over graft. He will be arraigned alongside seven others,” EACC posted on its Twitter account.

A shaky but smiley Kidero arrived at the Integrity Centre, the EACC headquarters, shortly after 5pm in a green Toyota Landcruiser accompanied by detectives who hurriedly rushed him into the building.

Mr Kidero claimed that he was unaware of the reasons for his arrest. “I am yet to be told of the offence,” he told journalists camping at the centre.

EACC chief executive Halakhe Waqo summoned the rest of the suspects to the commission’s office.

Linked to the graft probe are former Nairobi County Secretary Lilian Wanjiru Ndegwa, former Chief Finance Officer Jimmy Mutuku Kiamba, former Head of County Treasury Stephen Ogaga Osiro, and Luke Mugo Gatimu who acted as Chief Officer Finance. Others are Maurice Ochieng Okere, who was Head of County Treasury, and former CEC Finance and Economic Planning Gregory Mwakanongo.

Grace Njeri and John Githua Njogu of Lodwar Wholesalers and Ngurumani Traders Ltd were also being sought.

Mr Kidero had contested a High Court ruling that the EACC has power to investigate his seven bank accounts amid claims that they are stashed with cash transferred from public coffers.

The EACC had claimed that Mr Kidero had colluded to corruptly transfer public funds amounting to Sh1 billion the accounts.

Mr Kidero was holed up at EACC offices at the time of going to Press.

which is alleged to hold about.

The DPP said it was satisfied that the persons named were criminally culpable after investigations and evidence produced by the anti-graft agency on July 13, 2018.

The EACC has been investigating Mr Kidero in recent years over suspicion of being corrupt, culminating in a court suit.

The former governors is fighting a court order to probe his banks accounts and that of his wife over allegations that they fraudulently used them to transfer public funds.

The commission had wanted to search two US-dollar accounts at Commercial Bank of Africa and Standard Chartered Bank, and a sterling pound account belonging to Dr Kidero.

Others include his wife’s account at Commercial Bank of Africa and another at Family Bank operated by the Evans Kidero Foundation.