Court freezes assets belonging to Department of Correctional Services official

Milimani Law Courts, Nairobi.

The High Court has frozen assets worth Sh 17.5 million belonging to an official at the Department of Correctional Services.

Justice Esther Maina granted the orders to freeze a piece of land, seven cars and a house in Nairobi for six months pending conclusion of investigations by Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission.

Eric Kipkurui Mutai is suspected to have purchased the assets using proceeds of crime he allegedly benefitted from tenders worth Sh 257 million between 2012 and 2016.

According to EACC, the properties purchased constitute proceeds of corrupt conduct or corruption, “which the applicant is mandated to seek recovery or forfeiture of from the 1st Respondent (Mutai),” the EACC said.

Court documents show that Mutai was paid Sh 257 million between 2012 and 2016, for supplies allegedly made to the prisons.

“He is the sole proprietor of seven companies registered during the period and using the said companies, he got the funds allegedly through fictitious supply of food and ration to the department of Corrections,” the commission added

Some of the companies are; Unique Supplies, Homex Logistics enterprises and Hygienic Ventures. 

From the payments, Mutai allegedly purchased the parcels of land in Nyaribari Chache in Kisii County, Kipchimchim in Kericho County and another property in Nairobi. 

He also acquired the seven motor vehicles, all valued at Sh30 million. 

The EACC said investigations established that Mutai while not being authorised, obtained S13 forms used in procurement by the department of Corrections which formed the basis of payments made, as they were attached to the payment vouchers.

He allegedly claimed to have supplied food and ration to seven prison facilities in Nairobi through his companies.

“Although no supplies were made, money was wired to his bank accounts opened in 2016 and 2017,” said EACC. 

It is alleged that Mutai later withdrew the money and purchased the said properties. 

EACC said it has been undertaking investigations relating to public officers at the department of Correctional Services who are suspected to have fraudulently acquired approximately Sh 450 million on account of goods that were never supplied.