Vihiga County officials on EACC radar over Sh27m apartments in Nairobi

Nathaniel Ahaza

Mr Nathaniel Manyeve Ahaza- former head of Procurement at Vihiga County Government is under probe over embezzlement of funds.

Photo credit: Courtesy

What you need to know:

  • One of the properties, valued at Sh14 million is located at Nextgen Park along Mombasa Road and is registered to Nathaniel Manyeve Ahaza and his wife, Peris Odari.
  • Mr Ahaza is a former Head of Procurement at the aforementioned county government.

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has obtained court orders to freeze two apartments in Nairobi worth Sh27.5 million believed to have been bought through proceeds of embezzlement from Vihiga County government.

One of the properties, valued at Sh14 million is located at Nextgen Park along Mombasa Road and is registered to Nathaniel Manyeve Ahaza and his wife, Peris Odari. Mr Ahaza is a former Head of Procurement at the aforementioned county government.

The second property, located at Tulip Court, at Fourways Junction valued at Sh13.5million is registered under Emma Mulongo, a revenue officer at Vihiga County Government.

She is the wife to Wilberforce Ndula, who was the Chief Officer of Finance and Economic Planning from 2014-2017.

In its application for injunction orders, the EACC told the High Court that it is reasonably apprehensive that unless the orders are granted, the defendants will in the intervening period sell and or transfer or in any way dispose of the said properties “therefore frustrating and defeating the recovery of the said public funds”.

Certifying the matter as urgent, Justice Esther Maina of Milimani Law Courts ordered that pending hearing and determination of the case, Emma Mulongo, the Chief Officer’s wife by herself, her agents, servants and/or her employees or any other person interested in the property is restrained from alienanting, selling, charging, leasing, transferring or disposing of or in any other manner dealing with the property of interest.

Nextgen where an apartment owned by Nathaniel Manyeve Ahaza and his wife is located.

Photo credit: Courtesy

The property is registered as Apartment Number SPG/03.P2/T31/24 Tulip Court erected on LR No 28223/33 Four ways Junction, Nairobi. The only transcation approved by court in the meantime is by way of surrender to the State.

The same orders were given for the property registered under Mr Ahaza barring him or any other party on his behalf, in dealing with the property.  The house is registered as Apartment number 7, Residential Towers B, Nextgen Park, situated on L.R No 209/18488, Mombasa Road.

A total of 13 defendants have been sued in the recovery suit by the Anti-Corruption watchdog.  They include the four already mentioned as well as Boyse Ventures Limited, a private company owned by the Head of Procurement, his wife and a colleague in the office, and a third co-owner, and Director, identified as Antonina Muyoka Sangura.

He was the manager of the daily affairs of the company when the officials were away in the county government and was also sued in the case.

The other person is Beatrice Alosa (the Accounting Director at Vihiga County government), Johnson Ombaka (head of Internal Audit at the county), Ernest Ambaka Lukayu (head of Treasury-Accounting at the county), Victor Ayway Keyo, an accountant at the county Treasury.

There is also Peter Vulimu Ejimba, Beatrice Makungu and Joseph Maloba Chitechi, who are accountants at the Department of Finance at Vihiga County.

The EACC argued in court that its investigations established that Mr Ahaza and his wife, in collusion with the Chief Officer Finance, hatched and executed fraudulent scheme to corruptly obtain Sh13.99 million from the county government.

This they did through fictitious procurement contracts purportedly for the supply of toners and capacity building services awarded to Boyse Ventures Limited, which is owned by the couple.

The company did not supply anything nor render any service to the county government yet it claimed, and was paid Sh13,989,450. The funds were then used to make part payments in the purchase of the frozen apartments belonging to the Chief Officer and the Head of Procurement, and their respective wives.

The listed senior accountants are sued for processing irregular and illegal payments while aware that the same was a scheme to defraud the county coffers.

“EACC contends that although they did not benefit from the money, they blatantly abused their positions of trust and fiduciary duty owed to the public by using their office to improperly enrich the Head of Procurment and his wives as well as the Chief officer and his wife,” the EACC told the court.

The commission’s inquiry established that the listed county officials approved payments negligently and failed to comply with procedures and guidelines relating to the management of public funds, authorising the payment of the accused couples an amount totaling Sh14 million without accompanying invoices, contract and payment vouchers.

They were also found wanting for weaving and carrying out the fraudulent scheme acting in concert to defraud the county and paying the amount to Boyse Ventures Limited, owned by the Head of Procurement and his wife despite knowing no goods were supplied nr any services, rendered.

Boyse Company Limited did not honour the terms if the agreement since the capacity building/training did not take place between December 19 and December 22 in the year 2014 and no risk management policy was ever developed. Despite this, a net payment of Sh7.65million was paid to the Company bank account number 090262786893 on January 16, 2015. This amount was paid from the Vihiga Recurrent Account number 1000170859.

With regards to the supply of toners summing a total of Sh6.33million to the company on October 23, 2014 to bank account number 0114847287200 yet no procurement process was followed neither were the toners every supplied. The funds were withdrawn from Vihiga County Government standing Imprest account.

Upon receipt of the funds, Boyse Ventures Limited transferred a sum of Sh8.45million in two installments to Suraya Property Limited being part purchase for the Tulip Court apartment at Fourways Junction, Nairobi belonging to Emma Mulongo, the wife to then Chief Officer for Finance, Wilberforce Ndula.  The payment was made in two tranches, one of Sh4.3million and another of 4.15 million.

The same company further transferred a total of Sh2 million towards the payment of apartment number seven at Residential Tower B, Nextgen Park along Mombasa Road belonging to Mr Ahaza and his wife. The payments were made in two transcations totaling Sh1.56million and another half a million shillings from the companies accounts.

The Commission informed the court that despite informing the defendants to voluntarily surrender tand pay the State the lost sum of Sh14 million, the defendants have jointly and severally refused, neglected and ignored to deliver the amount to the Commission thus rendering the suit inevitable.

Now, the EACC wants the defendants to pay the lost sum of Sh14 million in restitution to the government together with interest at court rates of 12 percent per annum with effect from the date of loss.

Further, the want the court, in the alternative option to the first order, to issue an order for the sale of the two apartments in Nairobi by way of public auction.

Pending restitution of the amount and accrued interest to the Government of Kenya, the EACC wants the court to issue a permanent injunction barring any transactions on the listed properties.