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30 Judiciary staff facing charges over loss of funds in revenue conspiracy

Amadi said the Judiciary invited the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to interrogate the matter on July 19 with the probe agency opening a file on July 27/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 9 – Thirty Judiciary staff members are facing economic crime charges in various courts countrywide following revelation that Sh36 million had been lost at the Milimani Law Courts Registries in a period of two years in fake receipting.

According to a statement released Wednesday by the Chief Registrar of the Judiciary, Anne Amadi, another four unnamed officials were dismissed and six reprimanded following release of an internal audit on July 12 that exposed the scam.

Amadi said the Judiciary invited the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to interrogate the matter on July 19 with the probe agency opening a file on July 27.

“Upon receipt of The Final Internal Audit Report on Revenue Management at Milimani Law Courts for the period between January 2016 and December 2017 dated July 12, 2018, we immediately called in the DCI to launch investigations vide a letter dated July 19, 2018,” she explained.

“DCI promptly followed up by sending officers to the Judiciary. Two meetings have since been held and the investigations are going on smoothly,” she added.

Amadi said the Judiciary welcomed the move by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji who on Tuesday ordered the DCI and the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) to investigate the loss of funds.

“We wish to state that the Judiciary welcomes the DPP’s call for speedy investigations as described in his statement since this falls within our strict policy of zero tolerance to financial misconduct of any nature,” she said.

While ordering the probe on Tuesday, Haji asked the DCI and EACC to submit status updates every 21 days pending a conclusive report.

Haji said he had engaged Chief Justice David Maraga on issues raised in the audit, and he raised similar concerns.

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The DCI and EACC will also focus on the unilateral extensions of contracts without the application of the due procedure.

In February 2015 for instance, the Chief Risk and Internal Auditor pointed out the variation of Income Tax House Conversion contract by 15 per cent.

“The contract was varied by Sh288.7 million which is 41.5 per cent of the initial contract contrary to Section 31 (c) of the Public Procurement and Disposal Regulations (2016),” DPP’s Tuesday statement noted.

According to the DPP, the variation of the contract was not backed by approval from the tender committee contrary to Section 47 of the Public Procurement and Disposal Act (2005).

Haji also noted that the contractor had not been duly instructed by the Project Manager overseeing the execution of the contract.

Two contracts entered on September 10, 2015 on the provision of a medical cover and security services will also be interrogated by the DCI and EACC after it emerged that the two were renewed without following the due procedure.

The EACC has been specifically tasked with the investigation into the two contacts – the former, a Sh122.2 million awarded to Jubilee Insurance on January 19, 2017 and the latter awarded to Lavington Security Limited on August 23, 2017.

The DCI will look into the internal audit on the management of revenues at the Milimani Law Courts that could have resulted in the loss of Sh36 million and Income Tax House Conversion contract.

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