Land, Houses and cars are part of the properties the anti-graft body seeks.
The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission through lawyer Grace Maina has moved to the High Court seeking to be allowed to seize Nicholas Owino Ochiel’s properties and assets worth Sh1.2 billion. EACC says in court documents that Nicholas, who is a senior assistant director of valuation at the Ministry, amassed the millions through corrupt schemes.
Court documents show that the official acquired the properties worth 1.2 billion between January 2003 and November 2018 when his income at the ministry was 6.3 million. The commission is targeting properties including his residence in Karen valued at Sh80 million, a house in Thome estate worth Sh130 million, flats in Parklands valued at Sh100 million and an uncompleted commercial building in Kisumu worth Sh190 million.
Others are residential property in Lolwe Kisumu worth Sh53 million, a block of flats in Lolwe estate, Kisumu (sh55.5 million), and a house in Mirema valued at Sh23 million and three vehicles.
Mr Ochiel was first employed at the ministry as a valuer in 1996 and was the principal valuer from 2012 to 2016 before he was promoted to the current position.
Within the stated period, Ms Maina told the court that the public officer incorporated two companies, Ternic Valuers Limited and Ternic Enterprises Limited, and used them as conduits of corruption while colluding with his wife Violet Terry Muthoni and brother Richard Omondi Ochiel.
“He exploited his official position of trust in the ministry of lands for his private gain. He took undue advantage of his position to confer benefit to himself by entering into contracts with private entities for services he was employed and paid to provide at the ministry,” said Maina.
EACC claimed they discovered that Ochiel, his wife, brother, and their two companies accumulated wealth worth Sh1,365,054,008, and when they were summoned to explain, they only justified assets worth Sh158 million leaving a balance of Sh1.2 billion unexplained.
The commission wants Ochiel and his associates compelled to forfeit to the State landed properties worth Sh695 million, money transacted through bank and Mpesa totalling Sh497 million, and motor vehicles worth Sh10.5 million.
EACC investigator Shadrack Mwenda in his affidavit to support the application swore that they discovered Ochiel assessed and received government levies and stamp duty fees from his clients without disclosing them to the ministry for personal gain.