Details of how a senior police officer based in the Nairobi region forged papers and earned millions of shillings in special allowances have emerged.
A probe by the Internal Affairs Unit (IAU) revealed how Chief Inspector David Ochieng Onyango who has been working as a Quality Assurance officer forged papers and was performing legal duties as an advocate of the High Court of Kenya and drawing allowances and privileges.
Between February 2015 and June 2018, Ochieng was paid a total of Ksh2,259,193 as non-practicing allowance and special legal allowance which he was not qualified for save for the ex gratia provision, according to the probe
Ochieng had submitted a Certificate of Admission with his name bearing the admission number P105/9752/2012 but investigations later revealed that the admission number belonged to Salem Dick Lorot, who was his friend and colleague at the Catholic University of East Africa (CUEA) where they were studying law.
The officer joined the Administration Police Service (APS) in March 2011 and after graduating as a Constable, he was retained at the AP Police Training College as an instructor in the legal faculty. He was also deployed at the Legal Office at the AP headquarters.
Investigations revealed that he never qualified as an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya since he never graduated from the Kenya School of Law.
Instead, he forged a certificate of admission which he presented to the service but was not verified as per the procedures since ‘he had blessings from the then AP administration’.
“Notably, he submitted a forged Certificate of Admission with his name David Ochieng Onyango but bearing the admission number of Advocate Salem Dick Lorot now a legal officer at the parliament of Kenya who was his friend during the School of Law,” the investigation report reads.
The IAU probe further revealed that the then APTC commandant Omar Shurie had made a formal request to the then AP boss Samuel Arachi for Ochieng to be paid a non-practicing allowance which is only payable to advocates.
He thereafter started receiving the allowance of Ksh15, 000 per month.
Later, a special legal allowance was introduced for the advocates, and Ochieng was requested to present a certificate of his graduation from the KSL which he submitted but it was then that it was discovered to be for a different person.
In response to an inquiry by the detectives on whether the officer was admitted to the roll as an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya and was legally performing legal duties as an advocate drawing allowances and privileges on account of his position, the LSK said he was not.
“He should be subject to criminal proceeding as provided by sections 31 and 83 of the Advocates Act. We expected the police to investigate and prosecute the squanderer and recover any funds obtained by him as salary and allowances as the same was obtained fraudulently,” the LSK said.
Lorot, currently a legal officer at Parliament, later recorded a statement with the detectives in which he indicated he was not aware that his former colleague had forged his certificate.
The probe -including getting witness statements and other documentary evidence -took almost two years due to non-cooperation of some of the key witnesses
At one point, the Deputy Inspector General in charge of Kenya Police Service was forced to write a summon, compelling attendance of eight officers from the APS but only two from the salaries department honoured the summon.
Upon completion of the investigations, the IAU forwarded the file to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) who concurred and directed that the officer be charged with five counts.
He has been charged in court with impersonating a person named in a certificate, fraudulent acquisition of public property, uttering a false document, giving false information to a person employed in the public service, and violating the provisions of sections 31 and 83 of the Advocates Act.
In the last few months, the IAU has charged over ten officers in court with various offences including murder, assault, and obtaining by false pretences.