EACC arrests Thika lands registrar Felix Nyakundi in new graft charge

Thika Land Registrar Felix Mecha Nyakundi arrested for involvement in a new graft scandal in his office.

Photo credit: POOL

What you need to know:

  • On March 12, Milimani High Court Judge Justice Esther Maina granted EACC orders freezing multi-billion wealth including 17 high-end vehicles and 106 prime properties spread across the country, belonging to the Land Registrar for six months pending investigations into suspected unexplained wealth. 
  • The Commission suspects the said properties to be proceeds of corruption, which should be forfeited to the government.

Thika Land Registrar Felix Mecha Nyakundi whose multi-billion wealth was frozen by the High Court in March 2024 has been arrested for involvement in a new graft scandal in his office.

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) arrested Mr Nyakundi after he demanded and received a Sh400,000 bribe from the complainant to facilitate the issuance of a title deed.

Addressing journalists in Nakuru on Friday, EACC Spokesperson Eric Ngumbi said that the suspect was arrested alongside his two agents namely Boaz Sila Oseko and Samuel Murungi who allegedly ran his bribe collection scheme in land administration matters under the Registrar's jurisdiction.

The suspects were arrested on Thursday evening and booked at Kilimani Police Station where they were interrogated. 

On March 12, Milimani High Court Judge Justice Esther Maina granted EACC orders freezing multi-billion wealth including 17 high-end vehicles and 106 prime properties spread across the country, belonging to the Land Registrar for six months pending investigations into suspected unexplained wealth. 

The Commission suspects the said properties to be proceeds of corruption, which should be forfeited to the government.

Thika Land Registrar Felix Mecha Nyakundi arrested for involvement in a new graft scandal in his office.

Photo credit: POOL

The High Court also allowed EACC to hold and retain the sum of unexplained Sh4.2 million seized from the suspect.

In its suit papers, EACC told the High Court that Nyakundi has accumulated wealth that is not commensurate with his known legitimate sources of income, and as such the Commission reasonably suspects him of massive corruption and economic crimes.

Government land

Meanwhile, EACC has recovered prime public land worth more than Sh40 million within Nakuru town belonging to the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development.

EACC Spokesperson Eric Ngumbi said the recovery of the half an acre of land is among other house units that the Commission has been recovering.

He said that the recovered property is the 21 out of the 24 government house units recovered so far.

Mr Ngumbi said the court delivered its judgment and the commission is finalising the transfer process so that the house can be reverted to the government.

He said EACC is still in court pursuing other four units within the same area.

“The four units are part of the larger property with 24 units which had been allegedly grabbed by the former member of parliament, 20 of them have already been recovered in one judgment. This is the second unit to be recovered. Recovery suits for the remaining three house units are ongoing in court,” he said

Mr Ngumbi revealed that the recovered property, Land Parcel No. Nakuru Municipality Block 5/149, had been planned, reserved and used for Government housing.

He said that EACC went to Court after the defendants refused, failed and neglected to voluntarily surrender the property as per the demand issued by the Commission. 

Mr Gumbi revealed that EACC will conduct a lifestyle audit on all land registers across the country to smoke out those who have contributed and played a key role in facilitating the grabbing of public lands.

According to Mr Gumbi, the Commission’s investigations established that on June 30, 1994, the then Commissioner of Lands Wilson Gachanja fraudulently and illegally transferred the land including Government House; NKU/ HOU/ MG/27 built in 1964 to William Kimaru, who later transferred it to former Member of Parliament for Aldai Constituency Jim Choge now deceased.

When the title was initially registered under William Kimaru and later transferred to the Late Jim Choge, the property was already occupied by public servants, who continue to reside there to this day. 

The Judgement in favour of EACC was delivered by Justice Mwangi Njoroge of the Nakuru Environment and Land Court, who nullified all the transactions.