The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) working in collaboration with multi- agencies fighting graft, has won a forfeiture case, in which a traffic police officer has surrendered Sh26 million linked to bribes received from matatu operators on Garissa-Thika highway.
Jamal Bare Mohammed, a police officer patrolling the highway, entered a deal with EACC to surrender the money, since the case was pending in court since 2017.
The EACC disclosed that against the Sh47 million they were pursuing from the suspect, they managed to get the Sh26.1 million frozen at his Equity Bank, awaiting the conclusion of the forfeiture application.
Justice James Wakiaga who read the statement of forfeiture added that the negotiations with EACC and Mr. Mohammed began last year.
The negotiations are in line with Article 252(1)(b) of the Constitution which allows the EACC to negotiate, ask for conciliation or mediation.
Through the negotiations, Mr Bare has been allowed to keep a parcel of land in Thika, which he purchased at Sh3 million and a motor vehicle. He had stated that part of the wealth in his possession was inherited from his late father, a livestock trader.
The EACC in a court hearing last year said that recordings from the tracker placed on Mr Bare, revealed that he was receiving bribes. “During the six years, we established that he had cumulative assets, cash and land valued at Sh47 million. He had banked Sh26 million, which has been frozen through a court order,” According to EACC, Paul Mugwe, a forensic investigator attached to the commission, told the court that the Mr. Bare was granted an opportunity to explain how he made the money after finding a disparity between his assets and his known legitimate sources of income.
Court evidence showed that the 44-year-old Mr. Bare made deposits of between Sh200,000 and Sh500,000 to his account weekly. Mr. Bare’s salary was between Sh33,050 and Sh38,630 per month, totaling to Sh1.8 million as heard by the Court. In his defense, Mr. Bare said after that he was the sole trustee of his father’s wealth after the demise in 1987. He managed the wealth on behalf of his family and relatives while adhering to Islamic law. The EACC found out however, that he was only 10 years when his father died, hence the anti-graft firm dismissed his claims. Mr. Bare joined the police force in August 1996, he told the Court that he inherited some 120 camels, 80 cows and 200 goats from his father. He said the animals had multiplied to 217 camels, 180 cows and 268. According to EACC, the animals were only worth an estimated Sh4.3 million according to his own valuation, hence the rest of his wealth was classified as unexplained and marked for forfeiture.
The recent forfeitures are evident of the weight the government is taking corruption war through the anti-graft agencies. These effort will deter corrupt perpetrators from looting public funds and misusing their offices. Public support in the war against Corruption will go a long way in ensuring these culprits are brought to book.