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Court freezes contractor’s accounts over fraud

The High Court yesterday ordered the freezing of bank accounts of a construction company following a graft case filed by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC).

The EACC filed the case in an effort to recover an irregular payment of Sh36.27 million from Hartland Enterprises Limited for work not done.

The company belonging to one James Oyukah and his wife Mary Oduor is alleged to have received the payment from Homa Bay County Assembly for services not rendered.

As per the court’s sitting in Nairobi, the EACC was ordered to freeze the private contractor’s account until the case is concluded.

Justice Daniel Ogembo in his order, stated that the cash received was from the public coffers.

The money was allegedly misappropriated in a multimillion-stalled project of the Homa Bay MCAs’ office block in Homa Bay town.

According to the statement by the court, the cost of implementation of the entire project was worth Sh348. 927 million.

The work commenced on August 12, 2019, and was to take 78 weeks to be completed.

Homa- Bay County Assembly Service Board had paid the company more than Sh66, 714 million for the construction work where the anti-graft commission, upon assessment and evaluation of the project, established that the work done by the contractor was worth only Sh30, 444, 892.46 million.

The EACC also established that the contractor received the money but failed to accomplish the work. Similarly, the commission established that the board irregularly paid Sh36, 270, 032.68 million shillings in favour of the contractor.

In the ruling, Justice Ogembo barred the duo from accessing the bank account at Co-operative Bank for a period of six months until the case is heard and determined.

The case is set to be mentioned in September 27 this year.

By Brian Odhiambo and Sitna Omar

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