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Kenya

Former Youth Affairs PS defends Sh30mn in frozen accounts as legitimate wealth

Omollo urged Anti-Corruption Division Judge Mumbi Ngugi to dismiss the application made by ARA/FILE – CFM

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 20 – Former Youth Affairs Principal Secretary Lilian Omollo Monday urged the court to dismiss an application by the State for the seizure of Sh30 million part of which is believed to be proceeds of economic crimes.

The PS was among 54 suspects paraded in court in 2018 over the loss of Sh468 million at the National Youth Service through payments to fictitious entities.

The Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) which had frozen her bank accounts now wants money held in the account forfeited to the State.

In her defence, lawyer Stephen Ligunya implored the court to decline an application by ARA to have Sh30 million in several of her frozen bank accounts forfeited to the State.

Omollo urged Anti-Corruption Division Judge Mumbi Ngugi to dismiss the application made by ARA.

Ligunya submitted that Omollo lawfully earned the money while working at New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD, AN African Union Development Agency, before joining Kenya’s public service.

The lawyer insisted Omollo had proven source of her funds saying it was regretful ARA is not convinced.

“We have evidence with respect to the farm and its activities and her salary from NEPAD before joining public service,” argued Ligunya.

But ARA through advocate Mohamed Adow told justice Ngugi that Omollo’s explanation regarding her source of funds was not satisfactory.

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“The funds in question are suspect and the explanation given not reasonable.”

“It therefore indicates that they are not genuine ” he added.

ARA maintained part of the money is proceeds of crime stolen from NYS.

Adow went on to say, “there is nothing to show that the money was from her salary in NEPAD or government. We have shown that deposits were suspicious with specific dates.”

Justice Ngugi will issue a verdict on the matter on March 25.

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