Officers from the Office of the Auditor-General (OAG) are on the spot for running an extortion ring in counties, forcing governors to give them kickbacks before releasing of favorable reports, according to governor Mike Sonko.
Appearing before the Senate’s Public Accounts Committee chaired by Senator Moses Kajwang’ and repeating the same in Milele FM’s morning show, the governor surprised presenters and listeners with his well-documented allegations.
According to Nairobi County Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko, two officers (Anita and Oyoo) are reported to have demanded at least Ksh 100million from the governor, promising to ensure that the bad report they were about to deliver on his performance would not see the light of day.
In a carefully laid out scheme, the two officers approached the governor, his Chief Finance Officer, and other county treasury officials with the offer, something which the governor was really not comfortable with.
The two reportedly told the governor that they were going to make sure that he got a clean bill of health as his report was “not looking good.” They assured him that it’s the way in most counties and even his predecessor, Governor Evans Kidero, used to do the same.
According to Governor Sonko, he asked them why Governor Kidero got bad reports while he used to “sort” them as they said. They clarified that Kidero’s reports were worse and that the best they could come with was what is being shared.
Seeing that Governor Sonko was not playing ball, the OAG officials reportedly authored what they called a “Draft Audit Report” for the county with fictitious claims and insertions.
In the”Draft Audit Report” which was supposed to be the original and bad reports which they were to dilute after payment, there were claims that Nairobi County paid various companies huge sums of money for tenders, something which was not true. One of the company was reportedly owned by the bother of senator Mithika Linturi who raised even an objection with the claim on the floor of the Senate and demanded a clarification from the governor.
According to Governor Sonko, he investigated and found that most of the listed “irregular transactions” in the “Draft AUdit Report” never existed and were only being used by the Office of the Auditor General to force a bribe from the county boss.
The governor has indicated that he doesn’t have a problem with the Auditor General, but with his officers who are not doing their work well.
Asked why he didn’t record them as he always does, the governor said that the officers were careful and specifically asked for all phones to be kept away but also efforts to have them busted by EACC through treated money proved futile as they grow cold feet.
According to Governor Sonko, the two were paid Ksh 4 million by some of the Nairobi City County’s accounts officials, some who were charged with former Governor Evans Kidero over the Ksh 68 million scam.
The governor also refuted claims that he used county’s money for beautification, explaining that since he wanted Nairobi organized and having joined the county leadership while the financial year was already running with no budget for beautification, he used money from his Equity Bank account to fund the beautification.