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Minister, MPs in court over Sh20m fraud

NAIROBI December 1 – A Cabinet Minister is among seven Members of Parliament (MPs) who have been sued over fake allowance claims worth more than Sh20 million.

Kenya Anti Corruption Commission (KACC) has sued Information and Communication Minister Samuel Poghisio, and MPs David Musila (Mwingi South), Ekwe Ethuro (Turkana Central) as well as former legislators Joseph Kamotho, Peter Oloo Aringo, Daniel Khamasi and Justin Muturi.

According to papers filed at the High Court on Friday, the seven leaders allegedly received a sum of Sh20.5 million as an allowance for ‘Parliamentary Service Office Holders’ between November 2006 and November last year.

Mr Poghisio is accused of receiving Sh1.5 million on November 6, 2006 and Sh1.3 million on November 9, 2007.

“The defendant (Poghisio) was wrongfully and unjustly enriched by receiving illegal payments as allowances in breach of the provisions of the National Assembly Remuneration Act, Public Officer Ethics Act and the Anti Corruption Economic Crimes Act No 3 of 2003, at the expense of the Parliamentary Service Commission and the Exchequer,” a section of the court papers read.

Mr Ethuro, on the other hand, is said to have received Sh700,000 under the same guise but his Mwingi South counterpart reportedly received the largest amount of Sh5.8 million.

Former Mathioya MP Joseph Kamotho allegedly received Sh2.8 million; Peter Oloo Aringo (former Alego Usonga MP) Sh2.8 million while former Shinyalu legislator Daniel Khamasi and former Siakago MP Justin Muturi, each received Sh2.8 million.

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KACC maintains that the allowances were paid in breach of the provisions governing the remuneration of MPs and members of Parliamentary Service Commissions.

The anti graft body claims that the seven leaders improperly used their offices and wrongfully acquired public property.

Among the particulars of the breach of statutory provisions listed by KACC include the fact that the seven participated in the proceedings and decision making process in the parliamentary commission and therefore knowingly and dishonestly received allowances in contravention of National Assemblies and Remuneration Act.

“The defendants shut their eyes to the tenor and purport of the National Assemblies Remuneration Act,” KACC said in the court papers.

“The defendant(s) made improper use of his duties, status and power for personal gain,” it added.

It is now seeking judgement against them from the High Court.

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