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EACC officers to probe Wajir Governor Mohamed Abdi over corruption allegations

By The Frontier Post Reporter

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Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has now moved in to investigate corruption allegations in Wajir County that led to the impeachment of Governor Mohamed Abdi.

Governor Abdi was impeached by Wajir Members of County Assembly (MCAs) over alleged embezzlement of public funds and procurement malpractices.

EACC is said to be specifically interested in the multimillion procurement of infectious disease prevention commodities under tender number WCG/H/DT/002/2019-2020.

In a letter dated April, 28, Mr David Ikimat from the EACC’s northeastern regional offices asked the county executive to provide documents and any other information on the tender.

The commission wants Governor Abdi’s administration to provide originals of newspaper advertisements of the tender, the purchase register, opening register, copies of receipts and all bid documents.

Also, to be provided are bank statements of the Wajir County government, showing where the money was paid from, all payment vouchers to the contractor, and the approved procurement plan for the 2019/2020 financial year, among other documents.

The commission has listed at least 20 documents that should be provided by the county.

In the letter, Mr Ikimat said EACC officers will collect the needed documents on Wednesday.

Reached by media, Mr Ikimat confirmed that the commission had sent the request letter to the county secretary.

“It is true that we sent a letter to Wajir County requesting some documents after we received a complaint touching on a certain tender,” Mr Ikimat said, but noted that the EACC would give more information on the matter.

As the EACC moves in, a special Senate sitting has been convened by Speaker Kenneth Lusaka and will on Tuesday hear the motion for Governor Abdi’s impeachment.

Instruments of impeachment were handed over to the Senate Speaker last Thursday after 37 MCAs voted against the governor.

Only 10 MCAs opposed the motion that accused the governor of gross misconduct, violation of the Constitution, abuse of office and financial impropriety.

An audit report has since indicated that Governor Abdi’s administration used direct procurement instead of competitive bidding in awarding the questionable contract.

However, appearing before the Senate Health Committee earlier in the year, Governor Abdi said that due to the emergency caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, his administration opted for direct procurement.

He claimed he later reported the process to Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) as required by the law on procurement.

An audit of the management of the Covid-19 emergency fund gave Wajir an adverse report.

The governor reported spending Sh308.8 million on Covid-19 response but a special audit showed the county spent Sh141.5 million, leaving a difference of Sh167.3 million that could not be accounted for.

Further, Wajir reported using Sh36.8 million to pay its frontline workers yet the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) had approved usage of Sh35 million.

The county had an extra expenditure of Sh1.5 million in payments to health workers.

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