An anti-corruption court in Nairobi has been told how former Nairobi County Government chief Finance officer Jimmy Kiamba and County Secretary Lilian Ndegwa plundered millions of shillings from the public accounts at City Hall.
EACC forensic and asset investigator Tabu Luanga told Milimani chief Magistrate Kennedy Bidali of Anti- Corruption court of an elaborate scheme where irregular cheques were cashed earlier before payment vouchers were raised and none of which were authorised, voted for , and neither subjected to internal audit(s) as required in law.
That investigations revealed that over Sh 20 million was fraudulently obtained by the accused persons from the Nairobi County accounts held at Co-operative bank between January 1 to December 31, 2014.
Irregular and fraudulent
He said Kiamba and Ndegwa were signatories to ‘ “irregular and fraudulent” payments made to payees Ephantus Mwangi, Nancy Kambi and others “over the counter.”
The court was taken through transactions amounting to Sh 20 million which was amassed between January 1 to December 31, 2014.
“The documents we retrieved for the payment of toners and computer accessories were irregular…cheques were written first and then payment vouchers after,” the witness said.
Luanga informed the court that officers from his office recovered several payments vouchers from Kiamba’s premises and his offices amounting to over Sh 2.8 million.
One payment voucher
He said he found that same signatories signed vouchers and cheques and at one stage “what happened was that one payment voucher was used to pay two cheques,which was a fraud.”
A suspicious payment of Sh 700,000 to Regina Kipkemoi, accused one, ex- Kiamba secretary being purchase of stationery for the department of finance and economic planning was authorised by accused two, Kiamba and singed by former accounting secretary Lilian Ndegwa, the court was told.
The court heard that during the investigations, the investigator further recovered documents and established that there was a parallel payment system that was being used at the city county government of Nairobi Chief Finance Office when documents purported to be for procurement of stationery,accessories and toners for the department of finance and
Economics, adding that the money was paid to Kiamba’s secretary Regina Chepkemoi, contrary to procurement laws.
Cheques from the air
“What is strange was that the cheques were not authorised…they were issued from the air,your honour somebody just sat and wrote a cheque..” the witness said.
The witness said the monies was purported to be in payment for stationery,and computer accessories for Kiamba’s office.
In the case former County secretary Lilian Ndegwa and chief finance officer Jimmy Kiamba are among the officials charged with defrauding City Hall through phantom procurement. Other officials charged are Regina Rotich, Stephen Osiro and Nancy Kiruri.
The suspects have denied multiple charges of economic crimes arising from alleged false procurement.
They allegedly signed payment vouchers which were not examined, provided for nor voted and not subjected through an internal audit.
“Signatories on payment vouchers are the same ones who signed the cheques which were then cashed at the counter, they were not examined, bout provided for,” the witness said.
There were payments between April and June 2014 signed Kiamba and Ndegwa payable to Regina Chepkemoi and Nancy Kambi.
Kiamba’s secretary also raised a voucher on October 24 2014 which was paid and the prosecution states that this was irregular as voucher is to be raised by an accountant.
There were also voucher and counterfeit cheque exhibits in court singed in the “wrong places.”
“This is irregular…they bear a semblance of a signature by Lilian Ndegwa, it is carbon copy but the original has no signature,” the witness said.
Another cash transfer document signed by Ndegwa and Kiamba in payment of Sh 690,000 to Regina Chepkemoi and was cashed at the counter respectively on August 12 2014 and September 16 2014, the court heard.
“It means the cheque was written first in August and payment voucher after cashing, which was an irregularity,” Luanga added.