Activist sues IGRTC boss for using personal account to handle public funds

Milimani Law Courts

Activist Okiya Omtatah has filed an application at the High Court seeking an order freezing a bank account operated by Intergovernmental Relations Technical Committee (IGRTC)

The activist argues that the account, which is held at Stanbic Bank is a personal account being used to handle public funds, an act which is unlawful.

In a certificate of urgency, the petitioner wants the court to freeze the operations of the account, pending the determination of the petition.

He also wants the court to direct the Auditor General to conduct a forensic audit on all accounts operated by IGRTC, showing the flow of money to and from the said account allegedly held by the Committee’s assistant director.

The activist has named the committee’s Chief Executive Officer Peter Leley, saying he directed public funds to be channeled through a private account and Ms Monica Wambua, the committee’s assistant director, for handling public funds using her private bank account.

According to him, the decision to use a personal account to handle public funds is both unlawful and unconstitutional, therefore, invalid.

“There was no public participation in the decision to use the personal account to handle the Committee’s funds and delaying the case might render the petition useless as the funds might be transferred or spent,” Omtata states in his court documents.

The court further heard that funds in the said account are exposed since the account is not subject to checks and balances in law, which govern public accounts to safeguard public money.

Omtatah also learnt that in October 2021, the National Treasury transferred Sh 180 million to the State Department of Devolution, which then transferred the funds to IGRTC but, as the accounting officer, Leley used his discretion unlawfully to transfer the money to the personal account.

IGRTC took over the functions of Transitional Authority and is mandated to establish a framework for consultation and co-operation between the national and county Governments, among other functions.