A Sh426 million bribe was paid for the construction of a power station in Kenya, according to foreign investigations.
This is one of the 53 charges facing Nambale MP Chris Okemo and former Kenya Power and Lighting Company boss Samuel Gichuru, who the foreign authorities want extradited to face trial.
Kenya’s Attorney-General Amos Wako on last Friday confirmed receiving files from authorities in Jersey on the warrants of arrest against the said former top government officials
Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko on Wednesday 6th ordered to start proceedings which could lead to their extradition following ‘voluminous documents’ the AG Amos Wako received from Jersey that had asked Tobiko to constitute a team to attend to them.
Mr Wako described the files as complex and voluminous, and directed Mr Tobiko to “immediately constitute a high level team, if he has not done so already, to study and analyse the supporting documentation and deal with the matter soonest”.
Mr Okemo, who is currently the member of parliament for Nambale Constituency, served the Moi regime as a Cabinet minister in the energy and finance portfolios. Mr Gichuru was a long time chief executive of the state electricity utility firm Kenya Power and Lighting Company.
Detectives established that £3 million (Sh426 million) was paid to Winward Trading Ltd, a company associated with Mr Gichuru, in regard to construction of Kipevu II power project at the Coast.
“The said payments were corrupt payments made for the benefit of Mr Gichuru, Mr Okemo and others with intent to cause benefit to themselves and prejudice to KPLC,” reads part of charges presented to a magistrate in the Island of Jersey, United Kingdom (UK).
The charge adds the payment was meant to “award and approve contracts relating to the construction and operation of the Kipevu II power station.
Jersey authorities accused the two of concealing the payment, made by Wartsila NSD Nederland, a company in Finland, as “consultation fee.”
The offence is alleged to have taken place between May 6, 1997 and October 19, 2001, when Kenya was liberalising power generation and using independent power producers to boost KPLC supplies.
Scrupulous Corrupt payments
Another charge against Mr Gichuru reads: “(He) falsely defrauded KPLC by representing the price for a contract to John Brown Engineering Ltd comprised only legitimate charges when they were in fact inflated to meet the cost of corrupt payments.” That offence was allegedly committed in 1997.
Mr Gichuru faces 40 counts and Mr Okemo 15 counts relating to fraud, money laundering and misconduct in public office. Mr Michael Denis Kinyanjui, a former senior manager of Finnish energy developer a, Wartsila Ltd, is also mentioned in the cases but has not been charged.