Josphat Nanok found himself in a tight spot after a damning report by the Daily Nation on Friday 28, 2020 painted him as a beneficiary of tainted money.
The Governor decried the allegations stating that he was entitled to conducting lawful private businesses like every other Kenyan.
A report authored by the Nation on March 2, 2020, claims that he had irregularly received millions of shillings that he then shared out between West Pokot Governor John Lonyangapuo, Ikolomani MP Ben Shinali a third individual only identified as Isaac Makimei Gitau.
Turkana Governor Josphat Nanok at Movenpick during the Council of Governors meeting in Nairobi.
The thread that tied all three together was Tai Enterprises Limited, a construction company that had been awarded millions in tenders by the Turkana County Government.
The company had allegedly sent Ksh 45 million it had received from the Turkana Government to Nanok.Nanok then proceeded to share out the acquired loot with his contemporaries, Lonyangapuo, Shinali and Gitau.
The links with Tai do not end there as Tullow Kenya BV was also pulled into the scandal. The company which has been prospecting for oil in the country has contracted with Tai in the past for services that cost millions.
Ongoing investigations are working to uncover whether Tullow proceeds were funneled to the three under scrutiny.
According to a source at the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) who spoke to the Nation on February 28, 2020, Nanok wired the three parties more than double the Ksh 45 million that was flagged.
As per available reports, Gitau received Ksh 40 million, Shinali got Ksh 27.3 million while Lonyangapuo pocketed Ksh 11.25 million.
Nanok defended himself against the allegations during a burial service in Turkana on Saturday 29, 2020. He qualified that even as he remained aware of the EACC investigation against him, he was confident that nothing barred him from private enterprise.
“While the law bars me from doing business with county government due to conflict of interest, nothing prevents me from engaging in lawful private businesses with other companies,” Nanok said.
Civil society in Turkana has made a strong indictment against the governor stating that he should step down if it is proven that he had enriched himself with funds meant to improve the lives of Turkana.
West Pokot Governor Prof John Lonyangapuo at Kenya School of Government (KSG), Lower Kabete in Kiambu During a Consultative Devolution meeting on Thursday, February 20, 2020.
This is particularly if the EACC establishes links between the shady dealings and Tullow Oil which was to realize Kenya’s oil fortunes.
The oil, when discovered was heralded as a messiah that would raise the people of Turkana from their poverty with one World bank study even estimating that the government would rake in Ksh 900 billion from oil revenues.
However, those hopes have been dimming in light of the recent troubles facing Tullow oil including a global restructuring that birthed staff cuts.
This has accompanied disgruntled rumblings that the company had sold air and there was no commercially viable oil after all.