Embattled Auditor General Edward Ouko is in the middle of a new Sh49million storm currently under investigations by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (Eacc) amid spirited push to exit him from office.
The anti-graft agency is investigating allegations of tendering flaws and irregular award of contract for review of Integrated Financial Management Information System (Ifmis) and audit awarded to M/S Jkuat Enterprises Limited (Jkuates) by Ouko’s office.
Investigations by The Informer established Eacc investigators directed the Auditor General to avail payment voucher No.3131 for Sh49, 400, 092 paid to Jkuates.
A total of sixteen staff members from Ouko’s office have been grilled. The last two AoG officials; Evelyn Malova and Agnes Mita were questioned yesterday.
Deputy Auditor General Alex Rugera was first to be questioned over controversial extension on Ifmis review and audit project extension vied a memo he authored July 11, 2014.
“Additionally, facilitate availability of the undermentioned officers of AoG at Integrity Center to be interviewed and record statements.” A correspondence from Eacc in our possession reference number EACC.6/31 (97)dated March 10, 2017 reads in part.
Investigators are keen to establish how Ouko appointed members of his staff to participate in the project in question.
They have also put the Auditor General to task to explain if there any negotiation meetings between his office and Jkuates on cost of Ifmis review and audit extension.
“The auditor General is also required to provide minutes that deliberated and approved request for Ifmis review and audir extension performance from Jkuates.” A senior official at Eacc revealed.
Some of the officers who have recorded statements in connection with the contested tender include; Justus Ongera, Peter gaitho, Moses Gakomongi, Moris Muthoni, Juliet Moso, Eric Bii, John King’ara, John Mark, Mutuma, Edith Lubanga and Annetee Mwangi.
Others are Nicholas Mbithi and Christopher Mwazia.
Last week, Ouko got a reprieve after National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi stopped discussions pending an appeal in a case in which the High Court barred Members of Parliament from debating Ouko’s removal.
Muturi directed the Finance, Planning and Trade committee to suspend the investigations pending the outcome of the case.
Emmanuel Mwagambo Mwagon filed a petition in the National Assembly seeking Ouko’s ouster over claims of abuse of office, which includes queries into the purchase of a Sh100 million audit software.
It is alleged the contract was inflated from Sh18 million.
Ouko had declined to appear before the National Assembly Finance, Trade and Planning Committee saying it amounts to contempt of court.
Ouko had earlier stated that he will not be appearing before the committee even if summoned as that would be acting in contempt of court.
The Auditor General rushed to court to challenge the committee’s ‘unfair inquiry’ process which he says violates his rights.
Early last month, Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Keriako Tobiko cleared Ouko of all the three charges of corruption, but approved prosecution of retired Deputy Auditor General Stephen Kinuthia.
Eacc had recommended Ouko be charged with abuse of office, failure to observe procurement laws and engaging in project without prior planning
Others charged include Director of ICT/Audit Justus Ongera and Manager ICT/Audit Anette Mwangi alongside three officials from OSI Kenya, the company that supplied the software at a cost of Sh100 million.
Kinuthia is facing abuse of office charges due to willful failure to comply with the law relating to procurement, acquisition of proceeds of crime and dealing with suspect property. Kinuthia is also facing corruption charges for corruptly giving a benefit of Sh500, 000 to Charles Gichobi (sales executive of Oracle) and acquisition of proceeds of crime amounting to Sh27 million.
The EACC investigations were triggered by a letter from PS National Treasury dated 8th April 2014 forwarding anonymous complaints raising several allegations against the office of the Auditor General.