EACC now takes a hit in probe on wealth

The court has stopped the anti-graft agency from pursuing a man over his dealings with a Kenya Revenue Authority official.

Francis Thuita had complained that the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) was harassing and intimidating him in relation to land worth Sh30 million he bought from Joseph Chege Gikonyo last December.

Mr Gikongo has been accused of amassing illegal wealth. The KRA official was said to be worth Sh615 million although he earned a salary of Sh119,000 a month.

“EACC’s attempt to interrogate the manner in which I acquired the suit property from Gikonyo in the absence of any wrongdoing on my part was without any justification. The commission is abusing its powers and trying to use the courts to advance an illegality,” Mr Thuita told Justice Hedwig Ong'udi.

But EACC, through forensic investigator James Kariuki, denied the claim stating that it was only acting to safeguard Mr Gikonyo’s properties which had been frozen by the court.

Economic crimes

The commission obtained orders in July freezing Gikonyo’s properties on suspicion that he was engaged in economic crimes and money laundering. According to EACC, it was not possible for a civil servant earning Sh119,000 a month to amass Sh615 million in unexplained wealth.

Among his properties EACC said it suspected were illegally acquired were two plots in Nyali valued at Sh125 million, two parcels of land in Shanzu valued at Sh26 million and a farm house in Kilifi town valued at Sh27 million.

Other properties at the Coast are a Sh40 million house in Mombasa town, a chunk of land in Kwale valued at Sh2.5 million and another plot in Mtwapa valued at Sh2 million. In Nairobi he owns 13 plots in Sosian estate valued at Sh75 million, flats in Umoja estate valued at Sh33.5 million, a Sh12 million house at Greenspan and a Sh9 million house in Vescon