Whistleblowers or con artists who target the rich?

Jacob Juma and Bryan Yongo. Mr Yongo, who describes himself as a debt collector or credit management consultant, was an ally of the late Jacob Juma. PHOTOS | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

Some call them wheeler-dealers who exploit alleged scandals involving powerful people while others say they are simply shrewd businessmen with a nose for a good deal.

They flaunt their apparent wealth and influence at the slightest opportunity and have no apologies to make for their brash and boisterous ways.

His photograph has been conspicuous in a paid-up advert in a local daily as a wanted person for the offence of attempting to extort Sh82 million from a city businessman.

Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), through the director of Investigation Bureau John Kariuki, says in the public notice that the man is at large and has a warrant of arrest issued by the Kiambu Chief Magistrate.

The public, asked to forward information leading to his arrest, has been enticed with an unspecified cash reward even as undercover security agents continue hunting him down to face the full force of the law.

“It is our request, therefore, that any person having any information on his whereabouts report immediately to the DCI headquarters along Kiambu Road or the nearest police station,” says the police notice.


Mr Meshack Onyango Dehay, aka Ndugu Meshack Dehay, is the mysterious man police want apprehended and hurled before the courts for alleged extortion. He is also the man who recently released a personal statement alleging that powerful people and a city land owner had colluded to steal billions of shillings from the government in fake compensation claims.

So, the million dollar question: “Is Dehay a whistleblower or an extortionist on the prowl?”

Dehay joins a growing list of self-styled individuals, including debt collector Bryan Yongo and the late businessman Jacob Juma, who have over the years got entangled in multi-million-shilling disputes with the high and mighty for deals gone sour.

Some call them wheeler-dealers who exploit alleged scandals involving powerful people while others say they are simply shrewd businessmen with a nose for a good deal.

They flaunt their apparent wealth and influence at the slightest opportunity and have no apologies to make for their brash and boisterous ways.


In his recent detailed 42-page expose on alleged fraud amounting to Sh1.5 billion, the self styled  whistleblower dropped big names in the government who he claimed are beneficiaries of partial payment made to the land owner as compensation for a 96-acre parcel in Ruaraka, Nairobi.

Dehay, a corrupted version of his surname Deya, has in the past faced several criminal cases for allegedly obtaining money with menaces.

Investigations by the Sunday Nation revealed that Dehay has a string of extortion cases, some of which are still pending determination in court.

Five years ago, Dehay suffered gunshot injuries in his Buru Buru house in unclear circumstances though sources indicated then that an accomplice shot him in the neck over a deal gone sour. He survived the attack after being admitted to hospital for nearly six months.


Those who know him claim the man initially wanted to join a tertiary college to train as a mason after his secondary school education where he is said to have attained a D-minus in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exam. He, however, dropped the idea for lack of fees.

He would later find his way into the notorious YK92, a lobby group formed to campaign for former President Moi, who was then facing a serious challenge in the presidential race from the opposition movement Forum for the Restoration of Democracy (Ford) where he ran errands for its top leadership.

These contacts would come in handy for Dehay in his future dealings and confrontations with the high and mighty.

After the 1992 General Election and without a job, circumstances forced Dehay into the dark world of whistleblowing and the accompanying web of extortion, blackmail and intimidation.


In one of his many brushes with powerful people, Dehay is alleged to have issued threats to Mr Musalia Mudavadi, when he was serving as Finance minister, that he had a damaging story regarding his private life and that of his family and allegedly demanded Sh3 million or he would release the story to the media.

When Mr Mudavadi refused to succumb to his threats, Dehay went ahead and printed a story in a newsletter called the Observer.

Although the story was a figment of his fertile imagination, Mr Mudavadi totally ignored him.  

Dehay’s next target was influential billionaire businessman Chris Kirubi, whom he confronted, saying he had been paid by Democratic Party (DP) leaders to tarnish his character. He demanded Sh5 million to “kill” the story but Mr Kirubi refused to part with a single coin.

Pastor Peter Nduati, the presiding bishop of God’s Power Church and Ministry, was also targeted by Dehay and his accomplices. He, too, did not part with any money. 


Together with police, he staged a sting operation where Dehay and his accomplices were arrested and detained at Kasarani police station.

But the man of God chose to forgive them after they recorded a statement with the police and vowed to stop extorting money.

The group confessed to having accepted Jesus Christ as their saviour, a survival statement to get off the hook.

Former powerful managing director of Kenya Power Samuel Gichuru at one time staged a cordon with armed police seeking to arrest Dehay who had sought refuge at a top city hotel.

Dehay had got wind of a case in the High Court pitting Gichuru against another businessman. Together with his accomplices, he confronted Mr Gichuru, threatening to publish a damaging story on him if he did not part with Sh2 million.


After Mr Gichuru failed to yield to the threat, he went ahead to publish the story in a newsletter called Spymaster.    

Mr Bryan Yongo, who describes himself as a debt collector or credit management consultant, was an ally of the late Jacob Juma.

Mr Juma was a contractor but with interests in mining. When executing a deal, they were buddies but would disagree on sharing the proceeds, resulting in their on and off friendship. Both never shied away from controversy. 

Mr Yongo, in media interviews, boasts of how he made money at a tender age and he is never shy to show off his 30-room house in Nairobi’s leafy Kitisuru – complete with a gym, sauna, well stocked bar and in-house disco.

But according to court documents, Mr Yongo acquired the house in mysterious if not controversial circumstances.


Being a tenant for several years paying Sh199,650 rent a month, Mr Yongo offered to buy the house for Sh45 million from Mr Jigisha Jani.

But he allegedly reneged on the agreement and the owner furnished the court with bounced cheques and several demand letters to Mr Yongo. Recently, the owners obtained a court order and attached Mr Yongo’s household goods.

The case regarding the ownership of the house is pending determination in court.

A habitual litigant, Mr Yongo has previously lodged winding up suits against the fallen Invesco Insurance demanding Sh14 million in debt collection fees.

He obtained orders and disposed of the firm’s assets in a public auction to recover the debt. He literally brought the insurance firm to its knees. He also filed a winding up case against Equity Bank contending that his firm, Neptune Credit, was owed Sh10.2 million by the bank as commission for collecting a debt. He alleged the bank had reneged on payment. The case was thrown out.


Subsequently, Mr Yongo and his company were fined Sh500,000 each or serve 30 days in jail for contempt of court by High Court judge Muga Apondi.

The judge said Mr Yongo and his company filed the winding up suit despite a court order stopping them from doing so.

The controversial businessman has been involved in a fierce battle with city lawyer Ahmednasir Abdullahi, another friend-turned-foe.

He has unsuccessfully filed a litany of suits and appeared before a parliamentary committee as he sought to prove that Mr Abdullahi should be struck off the roll of advocates for allegedly acquiring his pupillage certificate fraudulently.

Mr Yongo was a clerk with the law firm of Mr Peter Simani where Mr Ahmednasir was a pupil before he started his own practice.

Another battlefront involving Mr Juma, Mr Yongo and Mr Abdullahi later surfaced over a contract for Erad Supplies to deliver 40,000 tonnes of maize to the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB). Mr Juma sued the State corporation seeking Sh500 million for alleged breach of contract.


Mr Juma claimed he had incurred heavy losses in profits and storage costs. The case was later referred to an arbitrator, Mr Evans Thiga Gaturu, who ruled in favour of Mr Juma’s company in July 2009 and awarded Erad $3,106,000 (Sh266.9 million).

Mr Yongo, who later alleged fraud in the contract between Erad and NCPB, claimed he was contracted by the company as a debt collector and expected to be paid at least Sh25 million upon successful completion of the job.

On the other hand, Mr Abdullahi offered Mr Juma legal services to recover the money from NCPB.

Mr Juma, who had amplified his activities on social media before his death, filed various cases against Deputy President William Ruto for alleged grabbing of public land.

In one of the suits, Mr Juma urged the court to order Mr Ruto to return more than Sh730 million to the Kenya Pipeline Company after a fraud case against the Deputy President was dismissed by the court.