The Director General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Offences (DCEO), Mahlomola Manyokole was yesterday dragged to court by his institution on charges of corruption.
Manyokole who is out of work on after a suspension served to him by the Minister of Justice and Law Nqosa Mahao, was on three counts of the offence of defeating the course of justice, money laundering and the offence of corruption, respectively.
According to a Magistrate’s Court charge sheet, Manyokole took the exhibit monies of unfinished cases to the tune of M83 000 into the Criminal Asset Recovery Fund held at FNB-Lesotho.
“The accused is charged with contravening section 87 (2) of the Penal Code Act No.6 of 2010.
“In that on or upon January 7 and 8, 2021, and at or near DCEO Offices, the accused person being the Director General of DCEO did unlawfully and intentionally perform an act with the intention of defeating or interfering with the course of justice to wit, by taking exhibits in the form of monies to the tune of M83 000 in uncompleted cases and causing the said monies to be deposited into the DCEO Criminal Asset Recovery Fund held at FNB-Lesotho without due process or the disposal order of court,” the charge reads said.
“The accused did thereby commit the offence of defeating the course of Justice,” the charge continued.
“The accused is charged with contravening section 25 of the money Laundering and process and proceeds of Crime Act No.4 of 2008 as amended by Act No.7 of 2016.
“In that upon or about the January 7 and 8, 2021, and at or near DCEO Offices, the accused person being the Director General of DCEO did acquire, possess, use property, convert and transfer with the aim of concealing and disguising the illicit origin and true nature of that property, movement, or ownership of the said property, to wit by taking or removing exhibit money in the amount of M83 000 the property belonging to the Clerk of court, but in his lawful possession into the DCEO Criminal Asset Recovery Fund held at FNB-Lesotho without due process or disposal order of court.
“The accused did thereby commit offence of Money Laundering.
“The accused is charged with contravening section 21 (3) (b) of the prevention of corruption and economic offences Act No.5 of 1999 as amended by Act No.8 of 2006.
“In that upon or about January 7 and 8, 2021, and at or near DCEO Offices, the accused person being the Director General of DCEO did unlawfully and with intention abused the functions or position of his office, in the performance or failure to perform and act, in violation of the law, or in the discharge of his functions for the purpose of obtaining an undue advantage for himself or for another person to wit; by diverting and depositing exhibit money in the amount of M83 000 which was in his possession into the DCEO Criminality Asset Recovery Fund held FNB-Lesotho without due process or disposal order of court.
“The accused did thereby commit the offence of corruption,” the charge read.
Meanwhile, in an interview with Newsday following his appearance before the Maseru Magistrate’s Court yesterday, Manyokole indicated that the DCEO staffers had arrived at his house in the morning to arrest him for the said offences said to have been committed at the time of his vacating office upon his suspension.
“I was arrested this morning by DCEO, they came to my house early in the morning and took me to the DCEO apartment. I was then taken to the police station for finger prints, then I went to court,” he said adding that the whole feat was a politically-inspired one whence officials of the Directorate are being used to settle political scores against him.
“The main issue here, they say I took the DCEO M83 000 of exhibit to the wrong account, while it was supposed to be deposited into the exhibit account,” he said.
He said he believes the whole fight against him comes off the fact that while in office, he had directed the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) to prosecute the Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro as he had investigated case against him, but the DPP instead turned on him facilitating for his due prosecution.
He also revealed that he was probing the Acting Director General of DCEO Sefako Seema who is currently holding fort in his absence.
“I was investigated by DCEO after I left and it is clear that this is a political war. I had directed the DPP to sue the Prime Minister as I have a case against him, but she didn’t, yet when a case is made against me it is approved instantly.
“The very same Seema was still being investigated, I was investigating him because he appointed himself to the office of Director Investigations. So I don’t know if he has tempered with the evidence that I have found against him,” he said.