A member of parliament has accused the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) of conducting a witch hunt against the Controller of Budget (CoB) Dr. Margaret Nyakang’o. The MP, who is also a lawyer, is representing Dr. Nyakang’o in a case where she is accused of abuse of office and corruption.
The MP, who did not want to be named for fear of reprisal, told the court that the EACC had no evidence to support its allegations against Dr. Nyakang’o, and that the case was motivated by malice and political interference. He said that the EACC was being used by some powerful individuals who wanted to remove Dr. Nyakang’o from office because she was performing her duties diligently and independently.
The MP said that Dr. Nyakang’o had been instrumental in ensuring accountability and transparency in the management of public funds, and that she had exposed several cases of misuse and misappropriation of funds by various government agencies and officials. He said that Dr. Nyakang’o had also resisted attempts by some politicians to influence her decisions and reports on the budget implementation.
The MP said that the EACC had violated Dr. Nyakang’o’s rights by raiding her office and home without a valid search warrant, and by confiscating her personal and official documents and devices. He said that the EACC had also leaked some of the documents to the media, thereby prejudicing the public opinion against Dr. Nyakang’o.
The MP asked the court to dismiss the case against Dr. Nyakang’o, and to order the EACC to return her documents and devices. He also asked the court to award Dr. Nyakang’o damages for the violation of her rights and reputation.
“The arrest comes in the wake of her public exposes with regards to the fiscal improprieties within the running of various State arms and agencies, and is a glaring manifestation of a knee jerk reaction accentuated by ulterior motives, malice and an unprecedented abuse of process.” The MP who asked for anonymity said.
“The Controller has zealously and without fear or favour discharged her mandate and has in recent times exposes fiscal improprieties and the instant criminal proceedings are clearly politicised attempts to discredit her integrity and ultimately impeach her credibility and suitability for office thus forcing her out of office without following due process,” argued his lawyer Danstan Omari.
The EACC, however, denied the allegations of witch hunt and political interference, and said that it had sufficient evidence to prove that Dr. Nyakang’o had abused her office and engaged in corruption. The EACC said that it had followed the due process of the law in investigating and prosecuting Dr. Nyakang’o, and that it had obtained the necessary court orders to conduct the searches and seizures.
The EACC said that Dr. Nyakang’o had failed to comply with the Public Finance Management Act and the Constitution in her role as the CoB, and that she had approved and authorized payments that were irregular, illegal, and fraudulent. The EACC said that Dr. Nyakang’o had also colluded with some government officials and contractors to inflate and falsify invoices and bills, and to receive kickbacks and bribes.
The EACC asked the court to deny the application by Dr. Nyakang’o and her lawyer, and to proceed with the hearing of the case. The EACC said that it was ready to present its witnesses and evidence to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt.
The case will resume on January 15, 2024.