The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission has frozen assets of Murang’a Governor Mwangi Wa Iria, believed to be corruption proceeds.
According to the anti-graft body, Wa Iria and his family received kickbacks from a contract worth Sh542 million, which the commission believes was awarded irregularly.
The commission plans to file another application seeking to have the assets forfeited to the government after their probe.
In the court case, EACC says Wa Iria influenced the award of Sh542,610,615 media buying tender to Top Image Media Consultants Ltd — a firm the detectives say is owned by the governor's relatives and associates.
One Jane Mbuthia is listed as the director of the firm.
"It was alleged that Top Image Media Consultants Ltd, a company owned by Wa Iria's associates/relatives, had been irregularly awarded various media buying tenders in the county government of Muranga between the financial years 2014/2015 and 2016/2017 and received a sum of Sh542 million.
"Preliminary investigations have further confirmed that indeed the 1st respondent [Wa Iria] held a direct and indirect interest in the contract awarded to the 2nd respondent [Top Image Media Consultants Ltd] as the 2nd respondent would subsequently transfer funds to the Ist respondent," EACC said.
Wa Iria has dismissed the probe stating that it is tied to his interest in the presidency.
The court case may deal a blow to the governor, who has declared his interest in running for president in 2022.
Wa Iria is hoping to succeed in Wycliffe Oparanya as Council of Governors chairman, having served as the vice-chair last year.