Embattled Auditor General Edward Ouko has moved to block a fresh bid to remove him from office. Mr Emmanuel Mwagonah, had filed a petition in the National Assembly which is now before Departmental committee on Finance, Planning and Trade, accusing the auditor of abuse of office.
But Mr Ouko has written to the National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi, protesting at the hurried manner the petition was committed before the Committee, even before it was scrutinised to establish if it merited substantive inquiry. Muturi directed that the petition be considered within 10 days.
Through his lawyer, Otiende Amollo, Ouko has dismissed the petition, in which he was being accused of wastage of public funds. Ouko has termed these accusations “incessant malicious attacks” directed at his personality.
Ouko barely had time for a breather following his exoneration from corruption allegations by the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Keriako Tobiko, when the petition was filed in Parliament.
In the letter to Muturi, lawyer Amollo said they were under instructions from their client, Ouko, to appear before the Finance Committee, to represent the Auditor.
“This being a quasi-judicial inquiry, our instructions are that the National Assembly notes that we shall represent our client as by law provided,” stated the lawyer.
He went on:”In so doing, the National Assembly be pleased to indicate the exact charges to be answered, the precise part of Article 251 of the Constitution alleged to have been breached, and the manner in which the breach is alleged to have occurred.”
Muturi had directed the committee chaired by Ainamoi MP Benjamin Lagat to exhaustively examine each of the grounds raised by the petitioner against Ouko.
Mwagonah has raised several allegations against the Auditor General, some of which were under consideration by the DPP, who only last week cleared Ouko over any wrongdoing.
While the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) had recommended Ouko’s prosecution, the DPP, had appeared to grant the Auditor a permanent reprieve on the matter, saying there was no sufficient evidence to warrant his trial for abuse of office. “Based on the analysis of the evidence, I have concluded that the charge of abuse of office recommended by EACC against Edward Ouko is not supported by the evidence in the file,” Tobiko said.
But the alleged procurement irregularity forms part of the petition now before the House, as the petitioner accuses Ouko of authorising the Audit Vault software for Sh100 million, when it would have cost Sh18 million. The petitioner also accuses Ouko of buying a Sh10 million office in Mombasa, which was never put to use.