Would you use your family to hide stolen property?Despite the heavy consequences this is the story of a former Nairobi County official who deposited Sh 77 million in his underage child’s account.His case was being heard in a Nairobi court today.
Lawyer Judith Shamalla, representing the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), told the court investigations showed that Stephen Osiro deposited the money but he could not explain the source, including that of Sh 53 million he deposited in his wife’s accounts.
“Those are some of the reasons that made us believe he was misappropriating public funds and engaging in money laundering. We also established that his wife is a housewife with no other source of income but had millions of shillings deposited in her account,” she said.
The EACC is seeking to recover Mr Osiro’s properties worth Sh 340 million which it has claimed was irregularly acquired through proceeds of economic crime.
According to EACC, it was not possible for the former head of accounting at City Hall to have such wealth within a span of five years with his modest salary of Sh 90,000 a month.
Osiro was charged alongside former Nairobi governor Evans Kidero with conspiracy to commit fraud leading to the loss of Sh 213 million from the Nairobi City County.
Ms Shamalla told the court that investigations had shown that Osiro and his wife Caroline Odhiambo acquired unexplained assets worth Sh 318,637,338.60 and $110,375 between January 2011 and April 2016.
In response, Osiro and his wife, through lawyer PK Mtange, argued that the EACC allegations were based on lies and an attempt to cripple them financially.
Mr Mtange pleaded with Justice Hedwig Ong’udi to lift the orders that had frozen their accounts, arguing that the couple was suffering and could not look after their children, who are in school.
“EACC has made sure the couple cannot support themselves by putting a caveat on their properties. They are only asking that they be allowed to eat, feed their children and take them to school, which can only be possible if the order freezing their accounts is lifted,” said Mtange.
He denied the commission’s claim that the two had several other properties from which they collected rent.
The judge said she would give a ruling on the dispute on November 22.