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Activist seeks to stop sacking of Auditor General over graft claims

An Activist has moved to court seeking to shield Auditor General Edward Ouko from allegations of wasting public funds.

In a suit filed at the High Court, Okiya Omtatah has ignited a legal battle against the National Assembly, its Speaker, the Attorney General and Mr Emmanuel Mwagambo Mwagonah over an imminent intent to remove Mr Ouko from office.

Mr Ouko, the Director of Public Prosecutions, the National Police Service, the Ethics & Anti-Corruption Commission and the Senate are listed as interested parties in the case.

Mr Omtatah claims that there is a spirited campaign to have Mr Ouko ousted from his position yet he is a diligent worker who performs his duties well.

He has accused Mr Mwagonah who petitioned Parliament to have the Auditor General sacked and the National Assembly’s Speaker for abusing their powers by aiding the orchestration of a plan aimed at removing Mr Ouko from office.

GOOD REPUTATION

He terms the move as a deliberate violation of rights to Mr Ouko to a fair trial and to a good reputation.

“It is in the public domain that Mr Ouko is a marked man for diligently performing his duties under the law hence this matter is of extreme public interest and an urgent one as the actions complained of contravenes the constitution yet it is being fast tracked,” said Mr Omtatah.

He alleges that since Mr Ouko was cleared by the DPP over corruption allegations, the petition is ill motivated since it relies on similar claims.

In the petition before Parliament, Mr Ouko has been accused of wasting public funds by accumulating a Sh1 million phone bill on his iPad while he was abroad.

Since he frequently travels out of the country for private reasons, it is alleged that his expenses are ironically catered for by public funds and that he remotely manages his office through telephone and internet, which is costly.

EUROBOND SCAM

He has also been accused of irregularly authorizing the procurement of an Audit Vault software at Sh100 million instead of Sh18 million.

Other allegations include failing to submit reports to the President and Parliament at the end of financial years, giving an audit firm that was supposed to be auditing his office other work, and buying an office at a cost of Sh10 million in Mombasa, which was never used.

But according to Mr Omtatah, there is a plan to hound Mr Ouko from office over his audit on the Eurobond scam since he has been publicly accused of making it suit a certain political interest.

“Besides the classic case of double jeopardy, whereby the petition restates the wrongs he was cleared of by the DPP, Mr Mwagonah has gone ahead to make unfounded allegations of impropriety against him without providing any evidence,” he said.

Mr Omtatah wants the court to issue an order stopping the removal of Mr Ouko from office and that the sued parties be barred from having him sacked.