CAS Chris Obure has a case to answer in Ksh1.2B Anglo Leasing graft – court rules

By , K24 Digital
On Fri, 24 Sep, 2021 10:28 | 3 mins read
Transport CAS Chris Obure appearing before the National Assembly Committee on Health on Thursday, September 3, 2020. [PHOTO | K24 DIGITAL]
Transport CAS Chris Obure. PHOTO/COURTESY
Transport CAS Chris Obure appearing before the National Assembly Committee on Health on Thursday, September 3, 2020. [PHOTO | K24 DIGITAL]

Chief Administrative Secretary Chris Obure who is facing Ksh1.2 billion Anglo leasing graft charges involving procurement of VSAT for Postal Corporation of Kenya (PCK) has been found with a case to answer.

In a brief ruling, Trial Magistrate Anne Mwangi found Obure and his co-former government officials with a case to answer and have been placed on their defence after the court said that the prosecution has established a prima facie case against them.

"After evaluating the evidence on record, I find that the state has established a prima facie case against all the accused persons in the case," Anne ruled.

Obure through his lawyer Gibson Kimani sought to be given more time to decide on the mode of defence evidence they intend to tender.

Obure is charged alongside former Postmaster-General Francis Chahonyo, former Transport PS Sammy Kyungu, and former finance Secretary Samuel Bundotich.

They have been found with a case to answer in several graft charges including abuse of office and breach of trust.

The DPP in his submissions urged the court to find the accused person with a case to answer and put them on their defence since they have proved all the charges of conspiracy to defraud the government through the multi-billion shillings Anglo-leasing contract against them beyond reasonable doubt.

However, the accused persons have requested the court to acquit them all the graft charges as the state has failed to adduce evidence to warrant them being put on their defence.

The charges were a culmination of over 10 years of investigations since the Anglo Leasing scandal came to public light.

Anglo Leasing was a series of security-related scandals involving 18 state security contracts in which the government entered finance lease and suppliers’ credit agreements to pay for forensic facilities, security equipment and support services for various defence units.

The witnesses who testified in the matter named the entities which were involved in the transactions of the project.

They included the Ministry of Administration and Internal security at the Office of the President, Kenya police Department as the user department under the ministry of internal security, Ministry of finance, office of the AG which gave the legal opinion of both the Contract agreement and the contractual money paid through facility promissory notes, the Registrar of Companies and Mutual Legal assistant

The investigators informed the court that they interviewed and recorded statements from several top officials under the administration of retired President Arap Moi and continued under his successor former President Mwai Kibaki who were adversely mentioned in the Anglo Leasing scandal.

Among the key people from the Office of the President include former security minister Chris Murungaru, his PS David Mwangi, Chief Finance officer John Akili Alawa, the Late Francis Karunya Mwenda( from the finance department), and Jisuka Mohammed Zala.

From Treasury, those who were interrogated over the scandal include the late former Finance Minister David Mwiraria, Ex-PSs Magari, Former Debt Management boss David Onyonka among others.

From the AG's office, those who recorded statements include Former AG Amos Wako, Deputy AG Dorcas Achapa and Former counsel Dan Ameo.

From the Central Bank of Kenya, they included former CBK Deputy Governor of the Central Bank, Jacinta Mwatela and John Pichela who is said to have proceeded with the payments.

In the police depart those interviewed and recorded statements include former commissioners of police Edwin Nyaseda and Hussein Ali, Levin Mwandi, formerly director of logistics, Chief Armour Arena Orwonye, peter Mathenge, Director of budget Paul Ngugi, Director of public procurement Kenneth Mwangi, Former Auditor General Evans Mwai and his team leader Beson Kariuki who conducted an audit on the 18 police security contracts, PS Treasury Joseph Kinyua.

However, there are other two similar cases pending in different courts where late businessman Chamanlal Kamani and his two sons Deepark and Rashmi Kamani, the alter former Finance Minister David Mwiraria and former permanent secretaries (PSs)Dave Mwangi, Joseph Magari, and former senior treasury employee David Onyonka are charged over defrauding the state billions of shillings.

One of the cases facing the accused persons involves Euro 59 million in respect of the E-cop project, which involved the computerisation of the police force and the installation of spy cameras in Nairobi by Infotalent Systems Private Limited

EACC has since said that during the probe in the Anglo leasing scandal, the directors of the firms were not known to anybody in the country.