ASSETS RECOVERY DISMISSES FARMING CLAIMS BY FORMER PS LILIAN OMOLLO.

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Former Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Public service Lilian Mbogo Omollo.

BY SAM ALFAN.

Assets Recovery Agency has told the Anti-Corruption Court that there is nothing linking funds belonging to former PS Lillian Omollo, which have since been frozen with alleged farming business she allegedly has in Siaya County.

In an affidavit filed in court by investigator Isaac Nakitare , he said he travelled to Uyoma, Rarieda in Siaya County with a colleague seeking to establish the farming business Omollo claimed she was doing.

The former PS stated that she has greenhouses, where she farms tomatoes, cucumbers, watermelons among other crops. She said she took up serious farming five years ago and some of the deposits made the frozen accounts were proceeds from the farm.

She claimed that she operate a joint farming with her husband Dick Aching Oneko in Siaya County.

Surprisingly according to the court documents, despite the said farm produce sold in Siaya, the money was deposited in Nairobi instead of the nearest Bank.

Oneko also claimed source were earnings from a consultancy firm known as Nile International where he offered consultancy services in South Sudan.

Oneko said he used to be paid in cash but did not sign anywhere to confirm receipt. He also brought the said money in the country without declaring the same at the point of the entry, against the law.

But in the statement, Nakitare said that they established that there was no farm in existence as alleged but there exist “a piece of land with shrubs”.

The investigator said the farming business is a disguise meant to conceal the source of the funds and “classical scheme.

Further, the officer said that the said piece of land belongs to the family of the late Achieng Oneko and the land was yet to be subdivided. “We further established that there was no farming activities going on the land as alleged by the 1st Respondent ( Omollo).

On the land we established that there is one small sized greenhouse located on a small portion of the land which Nam Oneko ( Omollo’s relative) told us belonged to him,” he said.

The investigator said that there were some small tomatoes which were yet to mature planted inside the green house, but not at commercial scale level.

“There is no shred of evidence to show linkages between the funds in issue and the alleged farm which our investigations established does not exist,” he said.

Assets Recovery Agency filed application before high court Anti-Corruption court seeking to have millions of shillings belonging to former Youth Affairs PS Lilian Mbogo Omollo forfeited to the state.

The money is held in several accounts in her name, companies where she a director while other accounts belong yo her three children. ARA said in the petition that they suspect the monies are proceeds of crime and therefore liable for forfeiture to the state.

Through senior state counsel Mohamed Adow, the agency wants the court to declare total of USD 105,293,7 and Kshs. 22,445,74 million held ten accounts in equity Bank Limited , community branch Nairobi and Diamond Trust Bank Limited , Capital centre and village Markert in the names of Lillian Mbogo, Sahara Consultant , Lidi Holdings Limited , Lidi Estates as well as her three daughters forfeited to the government.

The agency also wants USD 28,981,97 , Kshs 2,297,495,00, 257,220 and USD 8,979.83 held at equity bank in the name of Lidi Estates Limited forfeited to the state saying they monies are proceeds of crime.

All the amounts claimed by the agency are more than Sh32 million.

Omollo is currently facing charges or abuse of office, conspiracy to defraud and money laundering among other charges.

Lidi Holding Limited is company which Omollo and her husband Dick Achieng Oneko are directors and the company is the holder of two account at Equity Bank holding funds amounting to USD 8,979.83 and Kshs 257,220.

“This court be pleased to issue an order that the above funds be forfeited to the government and transfered to Assets Recovery Agency,” Adow urged the court.

The agency also wants the court to make any other orders it considers appropriate to facilitate the transfer of the property forfeited to the government.

In a supporting affidavit SSGT Fredrick Musyoki an investigating officer attached to the Agency told the court that the agency commenced investigations to recover proceeds of crime after the former PS and other suspects were arrested and charged on 29 of May this year.

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