EACC probes over Ksh.500M paid by Nairobi County as legal fees

EACC probes over Ksh.500M paid by Nairobi County as legal fees

The Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission (EACC) is probing suspect payouts made as legal fees by the Nairobi County Government to 10 law firms in Nairobi.

The EACC has written to City Hall to explain payouts amounting to more than Ksh.500 million made to 26 law firms between the years 2013 and 2020.

In a letter to the County Secretary dated January 21st, 2021 EACC demanded details and supporting documents for payments made to law firms; some associated with prominent politicians and lawyers.

According to the commission, the payments are considered suspect payments made without regard to due process.

The questionable payments dating back to 2013 saw some law firms receive as much as Ksh.40 million while the lowest beneficiaries received Ksh.2.6 million.

EACC in its probe wants to establish the specific case files handled by the law firms including details of the legal instructions. The County is required to provide letters of instructions, contract agreements entered into with law firms between 2013 to 2020, all payment vouchers and cheques issued to the firms.

The county is also required to provide details of pre-qualified law firms and minutes approving the list of pre-qualified law firms.

EACC says the probe seeks to establish whether the impeached Governor Mike Sonko and his predecessor Evans Kidero abused their office by using county funds to pay for their personal legal suits.

The law firms said to have benefitted from the huge fees include Njenga Maina and Co advocates which received a whopping Ksh.40 million, Miller and Co- advocates Ksh.36 million, Professor Tom Ojienda and Associates Ksh.30 million, E N Omoti and Co. advocates Ksh.30 million, Wanjiku Maina and Co Advocates Ksh.25 million, and Kwanga Mboya and Co advocates Ksh.20 million among others.

Irungu Kang’ata and Company Advocates is listed to have received Ksh.3.3 million.

This is the second time the county is questioned for unprocedural payment of legal fees to law firms.

Auditor General’s report for 2016/2017 raised queries over payment of Ksh.318 million to 12 law firms representing the county without approval documents.

In the Auditor’s report, Nairobi County legal department is said to have paid the huge fees without adequate documentary evidence to support the payments.