Nairobi: Court freezes procurement officer’s property in Ksh40.8M bribe saga

By , K24 Digital
On Thu, 25 Aug, 2022 17:22 | 2 mins read
Court hammer. PHOTO/File
Court hammer. PHOTO/File

The High Court has frozen nine land properties, eleven cars and three motorcycles belonging to a procurement officer at Nairobi county suspected to have benefitted in Ksh40.8 Million bribes from entities awarded tenders at City Hall between January 2014 to June 2022.

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) moved to court to freeze the property and cars belonging to Michael Auka Ajwang, saying they were purchased using proceeds of crime.

Justice Daniel Ogembo granted the order to freeze the vehicles, motorcycles and landed property for six months, pending the conclusion of investigations by EACC. The parcels of land are situated in Siaya, Kisumu and Utawala.

"An order is now issued prohibiting the transfer or disposal of or other dealing with property on suspicion that the property was acquired as a result of corrupt conduct, pending the conclusion of its investigations into allegations of corruption or economic crime," Justice Ogembo said.

Judge Ogembo issued the preservation orders after the EACC argued that Ajwang had been using his hotel-Hydeout Riviera to conceal proceeds of corruption.

Ajwang is the county's employee and owner of the high-end three-star hotel situated along Kisumu Bondo road.

His spouse, Risper Achieg Ojigo is said to be the other director of the hotel. The EACC told the court they suspect the assets are proceeds of corruption and there is a need to preserve them for 6 months pending the conclusion of their investigations into the matter.

According to the court documents, Ajwang earns a salary of Ksh 53,685. Between January 2014 and June 2022, he made a net salary of Ksh 2.1 million.

EACC says there is a considerable discrepancy between the profiled assets and his known legitimate sources of income.

"The EACC preliminary findings and information received have raised reasonable suspicion that there is a huge disproportion between Ajwang assets, those owned through his associated company, in this case, the Hydeout Riviera limited, and his known legitimate known sources of income and could have been obtained through corrupt conduct," EACC lawyer Joram Wambugu said.

"Preliminary Investigations established that Ajwanga has been receiving monies suspected to be bribed from entities awarded tenders by Nairobi City County. Further, investigations established that he had received over Kshs 40,000,000 as bribes from companies trading with the County Government," EACC informed the court.

Some of the assets have been traced to his spouse and his associate companies: The Hydeout and Hoho Farm.

The case will be heard on September 22.