, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 9 – A law firm associated with the Deputy Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen has been ordered to submit its detailed bank statements from 2013 to date by a parliamentary team probing the Sh1.6 billion fraud at the National Youth Services IFMIS account.
Public Accounts Committee chairman Nicholas Gumbo ordered Sing’oei, Murkomen and Sigei Advocates Managing Partner Hillary Sigei to submit the statements by next Thursday after he had declined citing it would be a breach confidentiality between the clients and the law firm.
“Without the consent of all our clients, I will be doing what is professional misconduct to the extent that we will parade whatever transactions that happens between us and our clients. It is against by ethics and practice,” Sigei pleaded before the MPs.
“You don’t have a choice if the Committee say you give statements from 2013 to date, that is what you must provide. The views of your clients unfortunately, by the wording of the Constitution are irrelevant. Their consent cannot supersede the Constitution,” Gumbo ruled.
MPs Abdikadir Aden (Balambala) and Fathia Mahbub (Mandera County Woman Rep) joined Gumbo in terming as suspicious the frequency of payments the law firm had made on behalf Out of Box Solutions including a Sh500,000 transaction Sigei appears to have paid himself.
“You paid yourself Sh500,000, and thereafter the account was withdrawn again; your account went down to Sh266. So you Wakili (Advocate in Swahili) Sigei Hilary, can you explain how and why you paid yourself and who is the stranger, who walks in the following day, because your accounts are looking so bad and deposit Sh2 million which you on-wardly transmit immediately?” Abdikadir posed.
The law firm received Sh15 million from a public relations consultancy firm that was paid out of accounts of the NYS.
Sigei also admitted that the law firm received Sh15 million from Out of the Box Solution – a company – also mentioned in the NYS scam.
He said the money was paid in two tranches with first payment of Sh8m paid on August 20, 2015 through Family Bank and a further Sh7m later through the same bank.
He told the public funds expenditure watchdog committee that the money was meant to buy a parcel of land in Eldoret.
Sigei had earlier told MPs that the law firm co-owned by Murkomen had not received any payment from businessmen Ben Gethi despite having represented him during a banking fraud matter between July and September 2015.
The law firm had an engagement with Gethi before the Anti Banking Fraud started investigating him over his involvement in NYS saga.
“We didn’t receive any money from people adversely mentioned in NYS saga. Our relationship with Ben Gethi ended on September 3, 2015,” Sigei said.
Sigei further introduced the name of Senate Majority Leader Kithure Kindiki (Tharaka-Nithi) as among those who received money from suspects behind the looting from the youth agency.
He told the Committee that Kindiki was paid Sh500,000 by the law firm although he claimed he could not remember why he was paid.
“I can’t recall why the money was paid to Kindiki but I can confirm he was paid,” Sigei told PAC.