[SIZE=7]Ex-PS Omollo ordered to forfeit Sh34 million to state in NYS case[/SIZE]
[SIZE=5]Court rules funds held in banks in the name of Omollo, her three daughters and other entities are proceeds of crime[/SIZE]
• Omollo claimed the funds were from produce from a farm owned by Sahara consultants and her husband Dick Achieng in Uyoma, Siaya.
• Ngugi said since Omollo had not been able to show a legitimate source of the funds, the only conclusion that could be arrived at was that the funds were proceeds of crime.
PS Lilian Omollo (right) with a section of other suspects in the NYS scandal at a Milimani court.
Former PS Lillian Omollo suffered a huge blow after the High Court ordered she forfeits Sh33.6 million to the state.
Justice Mumbi Ngugi said the funds held in bank accounts in the name of Omollo, her three daughters and entities run by her husband were proceeds of crime and therefore liable for forfeiture to the state.
Ngugi said the family failed to show a legitimate source of the funds deposited in the ten accounts.
During the hearing, the ex-PS claimed the funds were from produce from a farm owned by Sahara consultants and her husband Dick Achieng in Uyoma, Siaya.
They grew vegetables such as tomatoes and capsicums in greenhouses.
The second source of the funds, according to the respondents, was Achieng’s consultancy fees allegedly paid for work done in South Sudan.
But Ngugi said an analysis of documents annexed by Omollo intended to demonstrate that the Uyoma farm was a legitimate source of the funds showed that they comprised what appeared to be photocopies of receipts issued by Onkeo Farm for relatively small amounts paid for sale mostly of tomatoes.
Ngugi said none of those documents showed receipt of funds that could explain deposits of Sh500,000 or Sh900,000 on a single day.
She said Omollo and her team did not produce any documents to show that they owned the farm in Uyoma. “They did not produce any documents that showed the funds in question were from produce from the farm,” the judge ruled.
She noted the amounts in the accounts were deposited in lump sums in excess of Sh500,00 but there was no evidence of payment of income tax by the respondents.
Nothing, she said, had been placed before the court to show that the land was the source of the funds in the respondent’s accounts.
Omollo complained that when a site visit was done to the farm, the Assets Recovery Agency failed to place photographs of the farm before the court.
But Ngugi said photographs would not show the economic viability of a farm.
“Such photos as Omollo annexed do show farm produce but there is nothing to show where the photographs were taken, or how such photos of vegetables translate to deposits of thousands of shillings in a matter of days,” the judge ruled.
She said even if one were to give the benefit of doubt to the respondents, it was difficult to accept that the large sums of money were payments for produce from the farm.
She also noted that the total amount shown in the receipts annexed by Omollo in the period under investigation was Sh390,000, a far cry from the amount deposited and held in her accounts.
Regarding funds from Omollo’s consultancy business, Mumbi said an analysis of an account where consultancy fees were paid showed that the account had received approximately Sh22 million and that the amount had been withdrawn from the account.
It also showed that in the period under investigation, being 2015-2019, there had been no deposit of funds in the account.
Omollo, according to the court’s findings, opened numerous bank accounts in her name, her business name and in the names of limited liability companies in which she, her husband and daughters were the shareholders and in the name of two of her underage children.
She would deposit funds in the accounts, sometimes in all the accounts on the same day.
“This kind of conduct was anticipated by the law, hence the definition of ‘politically exposed persons’ to include children and close relatives of persons in the position of the former PS,” the judge said.
Ngugi said since Omollo had not been able to show a legitimate source of the funds, the only conclusion that could be arrived at was that the funds were proceeds of crime.
Ngugi said for Omollo to deposit in different accounts on the same day hundreds of thousands of shillings or dollars as happened in her case, there must be a very clear source of such funds.