"We did haphazard investigations on Gachagua's graft case because of Kinoti's pressure" - lead DCI investigator

for Tv47 Digital October 29, 2022, 01:28 PM
KSh200m Gachagua case
A file photo of deputy president Rigathi Gachagua

A senior detective who was the lead investigator in then Mathira MP and now Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua's KSh200 graft case has now revealed the role allegedly played by former DCI Director George Kinoti.

Kuriah Obadiah, in a sworn affidavit dated October 15, 2022, claims that Kinoti immensely pressured him and his team to quickly investigate the matter "including recording of statements, searches, filing of affidavits in court for orders to access the accused persons' bank accounts among other activities." This, Obadiah says is despite the fact that there was a lack of satisfactory evidence against Gachagua.

He also claims that as they were doing their investigations, Kinoti would direct them to make recommendations that will enable the accused persons to face charges."

Obadiah says that this made his team unable to conduct an objective and comprehensive investigations into the matter.

Consequently, Obadiah says that they were also unable to cover crucial areas of the investigations that would have shed some light on the case.

"Based on immense pressure from my director, Mr Kinoti, my team made the recommendations. The accused persons were charged and investigations could not continue as contemplated for various reasons," he says in the four-page affidavit.

Forfeit KSh200M to State

In July 28 2022, a court ordered Gachagua to forfeit KSh200 million to the State.

High Court Judge Esther Maina at the time ruled that Gachagua had failed to explain how he acquired the wealth from government agencies.

Gachagua has on numerous occasion said that he is an astute businessman way before he became an MP, and that he legally received money from the government agencies through the award of contracts.

However, Judge Maina said that there was no proof that he got the wealth from State contracts.

Money laundering allegations

The Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) said that investigations have so far linked Gachagua and Jenne Enterprises Limited to a suspected money laundering scheme.

Among State agencies Gachagua apparently received money from, according to ARA, include Ministry of Lands (Kenya Informal Settlements Programme), Ministry of Health, State Department for Special Planning, National Irrigation Board, Mathira Constituency Development Fund, Nyeri County Government, and Bungoma County Government.

“That within the said period, there were massive suspicious cash withdrawals, transfers, inter and intra-bank transfers from other accounts to the accounts under investigations and other bank accounts owned by Mr Gachagua in suspicious complex money-laundering schemes,” the agency said.

“There are reasonable grounds to believe that the suspect’s bank accounts were used as a conduit for money laundering in efforts to conceal, disguise the nature, source, disposition and movement of illicit funds and should be preserved,” ARA submitted to court.

The case will be heard on November 21, 2022, where withdrawal directions will be given.

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