Eight former senior Isiolo County officials, including three chief officers linked to the loss of Sh58.6 million fire engine procurement fraud arrested by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) on January 17, 2024, have denied 12 counts of graft.
Appearing before Isiolo Chief Magistrate Lucy Mutai, the accused denied charges of failure to comply with procurement process, unlawful acquisition of public property, and abuse of office.
The suspects who include Peter Ngechu Muhuha (former chief officer, finance), Adano Salad Kadubo (former chief officer, public works, housing and urban development), Abdi Nasir Ali (former head of treasury), Jibril Hassan (accountant), and Augustine Gatebu (accountant), Yusuf Mohamed Galgalo (former chief officer, finace), Linus Gichunge Thuranira (former county legal adviser), and Dr Salad Kikuyu Sarite (former head of supply chain management)
were each released on a bond of Sh3 million and a surety of the same amount, or alternatively pay a cash bail of Sh400,000. The matter will be mentioned on February 6, 2024.
“The EACC investigations established that the suspects engaged in a flawed procurement process designed to fraudulently award a tender for the supply and delivery of a fire engine to Drescoll Limited worth Sh58,560,000. The said contractor is at the centre of a related investigation in Marsabit County Government involving a Sh62,000,000 tender for a similar supply and delivery of a fire engine,” the EACC said in a statement.
It is understood that upon conclusion of the investigation, a report was submitted to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) who concurred with the recommendations of the anti-graft agency to charge the eight former officials, plus five others, with the same offences.
Suspects still on the loose include: Qanchora Roba (former chief finance officer), John Thuranira Nkuraru (supply chain management assistant), Ali Godana Wako (former town administrator, Isiolo County), Kennedy Macharia Murimi (Transport officer) and Bashir Hassan Abey Mamo (director Drescoll Limited).
“The Commission remains firmly focused on its mandate and will continue to enforce the law against all persons engaging in theft of public funds,” EACC said.