High court judge, Justice Mumbi Ngugi has given the EACC greenlight to search properties of the former Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero for unexplained property worth Sh9 billion.
According to Ngugi, the search warrant issued to Kidero in September 2018 was legal.
The former governor had challenged the search order that was obtained by the Ethics and Anti-corruption (EACC). According to Kidero, the previous order was vague, overboard, and open-ended and the EACC was on a fishing expedition.
Kidero together with his wife Susan Mboya accused the EACC of infringing on their privacy.
The two also urged that the anti-graft agency had published a list of over fifty properties, which some of them were registered in the names of his children and had purchased them before venturing into politics.
“In my view, there was no violation of the second petitioner’s (Dr. Mboya) rights in the search mounted on the residential premises in which she and 1st petitioner (Dr. Kidero) reside,” Justice Ngugi said.
The previous search by the EACC was done on Kidero’s properties in Kisumu, Muthaiga, and offices in Westlands, Nairobi.
Ngugi said the search warrant allowed the EACC to investigate unexplained assets owned by the former Mumias Sugar Company CEO and such investigation required an assessment of the value of the properties.
According to EACC, Kidero’s Sh9 billion property was built when he served as the CEO of Mumias Sugar Company and governor of Nairobi.
Kidero claimed that EACC had no role in investigating the affair of Mumias Sugar Company, a private entity. Ngugi dismissed the claim pointing out that the legal status of the sugar miller does bar EACC’s investigative power.
Dr. Susan Mboya Kideero’s wife on her side claimed that the anti-graft agency violated her right by raiding her home at 4 am yet the only connection she had with Kidero was marriage.
But the judge dismissed her argument stating “While the rights of women, whether within marriage or outside must be jealousy safeguarded, it has to be acknowledged that there can be complicit, writing or otherwise, in the concealment of corruptly acquired assets,” the daily Business Daily publication quoted Justice Ngugi.
Ngugi ruled that the investigation of the couple’s assets in such circumstances was in the public interest and cannot be viewed as a violation of their rights.
Justice Ngugi said as the petitioners conceded, the anti-graft agency was allowed to continue with its investigations, and trace their assets. The judge also allowed the EACC to pursue property held by Kidero’s relatives or by his associates.
Dr. Evan Kidero has however defended his properties saying that he was a man of decent means and had made his wealth over the years since he got his first employment back in 1983.
EACC said Kidero received millions kept in different bank accounts and acquired his properties in Nairobi while he was the CEO of Mumias as well as the Governor of Nairobi.
From the report seen by SONKONEWS within four years alone, Kidero received Sh317,116,000 in cash deposit alone. He also had over Sh200 million in his fixed deposit account.
From the investigations done so far, Kidero has properties and assets with a value of over Sh9 billion and a total of 11 motor vehicles.
EACC believe Kidero acquired his property through fraud during his tenure at Mumias Sugar Company and Governor of Nairobi.
Out of the 75 properties in question, Kidero admitted he owned 60 of them while the remaining 15 were owned by other individuals. According to Kidero, the 60 properties he owns are worth Sh 563.9 million and not Sh9 billion as claimed by the EACC.
Some of the properties names in Kidero’s case include Gem Suites, Orro Ltd, Argenti Ltd, and Gem Investment.