Governor Nathif Jama denies existence of ‘frozen account’

Garissa Governor Nathif Jama on Monday claimed an account said to have been frozen by the High Court in a corruption case does not exist.

“How do you freeze an account that does not exist and how were the investigations carried out without my knowledge?” he posed.

Mr Jama threatened to sue the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) for using what he called fabricated documents showing he moved Sh5.2 billion from the county’s account to his personal account.

Addressing a news conference in Nairobi on Monday, Mr Jama said the EACC relied on fictitious documents to make allegations that he plundered county funds.

PERSONAL ACCOUNT

“The allegations that I moved Sh5.2 billion to my personal account are totally and holistically not true, malicious and only amount to political witch-hunt,” he said.

“I am consulting my lawyers and drafting the necessary documents before taking action against the EACC.

READ: Court freezes governor’s Sh5bn account

I will also record a statement with the Directorate of Criminal Investigations and demand full investigations over the authenticity of the documents relied on by the EACC,” he added.

He said even the account the EACC relied on does not exist at the First Community Bank.

On Friday, the High Court froze an account investigators say belongs to Mr Jama to allow the EACC to scrutinise transactions amounting to Sh5.2 billion over the last four years.

GENUINE DOCUMENTS

The anti-corruption agency’s CEO, Mr Halakhe Waqo, told the Nation that the EACC obtained genuine documents from the bank and confirmed the transactions took place through the Integrated Financial Management Information System (Ifmis).

“We have carried out our investigations in a professional and legal manner,” he said. “We have obtained all the information within the law,” said Mr Waqo.

Bank statements obtained by EACC investigators indicate a total of 32 deposits amounting to Sh2,442,011,012.06 were made into the account between January 1, 2015, and May 20, 2016.

A bank statement accompanying sworn affidavits by anti-corruption investigators further indicates the account had a balance of Sh2.8 billion carried forward from 2014, bringing the total to Sh5.2 billion.

RAISING AN ALERT

The governor said in the 2015/2016 financial year, the county government received Sh5.8 billion from the exchequer, hence it is not possible to transfer Sh5.2 billion without the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) and the Treasury noticing.

READ: Nathif Jama hits out at EACC over account with billions

“There is no way you can move such a huge amount of money without the CBK or the Treasury noticing and raising an alert,” said Mr Jama.

Former National Assembly Deputy Speaker Farah Maalim, who accompanied the governor, accused the EACC of carrying out shoddy investigations with the motive of fixing the county boss.

FRUSTRATE LEADERS

“It is sad that the EACC has been turned into a State machinery to frustrate innocent leaders,” said Mr Maalim.

In Garissa, National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale told the CBK and other senior officials to take responsibility following the freezing of the governor’s account.

Addressing journalists, Mr Duale also said the Controller of Budget and the director of Ifmis in the National Treasury should be held accountable for the alleged loss of money in the county.

Deputy President Ruto back to western Kenya in hunt for votes