Will Nairobi governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko survive the storm and, who is baying for his blood to unseat him as the capital city’s supremo? These are some of the questions on the lips of both nemesis and supporters.
Reliable sources reveal that those opposed to Sonko are burning the midnight oil to have him hounded out of office at all costs.
Involved in the scheme are various powerful faces but one name cropping up is that of Abdi Mohammed, the man in charge of investigations at the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission.
Roped in are senior police officers at Nairobi area and a section of MCAs at the city’s county assembly.
However, as per now, the governor controls majority of the MCAs and was instrumental in the return of Beatrice Elachi as county speaker. Elachi return was opposed by majority assembly leader Abdi Guyo. Guyo has fallen out with Sonko after it emerged that a section of MCAs were plotting to impeach the governor while Elachi was not in office.
According to sources, when Elachi position was taken over by Chege Mwaura in an acting capacity, several meetings were held at Nairobi Heron Court Hotel to raise funds to buy off MCAs to impeach Sonko. In the deal, Chege was to allow a number of MCAs among them, a one Karani raise the matter on the floor of the house.
Sonko aware of the move schemed for the return of Elachi on grounds of respecting court orders. Immediately Elachi was in office, she embarked on cleaning the county service board that is graft-ridden to the core. First to go was clerk Jacob Ngwele and Guyo. Guyo was replaced by MCA Mark Ndungu.
Insiders say that City Hall cartel involved in water racket, illegal plans approval, blackmailing and intimidation have taken over the running of the seat of the capital with support of powerful individuals who call shots in high government offices, including senior police officers.
One of them has bought a house in Karen, and Lavington and drives powerful vehicles. They even collude with police officers to enforce suspicious warrants of arrest to force City Hall pay millions of shillings said to be awarded by court.
That things are bad not only for the governor but other senior City Hall top managers is seen in the case of county secretary Moritant Lebo and chief finance, a one Wako.
A senior officer at Nairobi area is said to have dispersed officers to Lebo’s Nairobi residence. He was not present but they found his daughter, a University of Nairobi student.
The officers are said to have held the student hostage and threatened her to say where her father was.
The matter was reported as OB142/10/19 against the said officers.
At the centre of the storm is a company Proland Ltd that entered into a deal with some officials at City Hall to irregularly award Sh280 million in a suspicious lease agreement.
Sonko recently claimed Proland is colluding with police officers and the judiciary to defraud the county.
The purported piece of land is in Nairobi’s Langata area. The firm has been paid Sh175 million.
Weekly Citizen has established that at the time, City Hall appealed against Sh280 million agreement but during Evans Kidero era, the firm entered another fictitious deal to be getting Sh35 million in installments.
To intimidate senior officials at City Hall, the firm has engaged plain cloths officers at Nairobi area operations office to sneak to finance department, intimidate, make arrests and to be paid.
Recently, Sonko caused a stir at finance office when he stopped the arrest of his officers.
Sonko questioned the circumstances under which the firm has been minting millions of shillings supplying hot air.
Sonko’s decision to block payments and engage Directorate of Criminal Investigations has earned him enemies with a number of police officers based at Nairobi area.
Sonko did not want to engage EACC in the Proland Ltd investigations due to the current cases he is facing at EACC.
Fear now is, when Sonko reported at Integrity Centre for interrogation, a move had been hatched to harm him in the confusion as police fired blive bullets and teargas haphazardly.
Following the skirmishes that followed, four county employees were arrested and charged. Richard Bosire the governor’s communication director, Kennedy Odhiambo (alcohol drinks), John Abok and Joseh Karai denied resisting arrest and taking part in unlawful assembly.
According to the charge sheet, the four willfully and unlawfully resisted arrest from police constables Peter Mwangi, Timothy Nyaga, Antony Kasili, Joseph Muturi and Inspector Silas Siota.
They were released on Sh100,000 bond each but re-arrested by plaincloths police officers and taken to KICC Police Station. The same officer who were at City Hall finance office to enforce arrest warrants were also at Integrity Centre.
The war between Sonko and EACC received a dossier on corruption at EACC. It is also said, a section of powerful faces at EACC are bitter Sonko has been pushing for the disbandment of the antigraft body in favour of DCI. Already, it is said, the governor was behind the petition to Building Bridges Initiative to have EACC disbanded.
Recently, EACC summoned Sonko for allegedly lying in his self-declaration form when he sought clearance to contest for governorship. The governor has released a dossier detailing high level corruption at Integrity Centre and has forwarded the dossier to other investigating agencies..
In his dossier, Sonko pointed fingers at the EACC director of investigations, Abdi Mohamud for fighting him over his stand against land grabbing in Nairobi.
The governor cited the fraudulent transfer of Integrity Centre to land grabbers with help of a cartel inside EACC allegedly led by Mohamud. Mohamud is accused of transferring a senior EACC sleuth Kipsang Sambai who was investigating the said land scam.
He stated that after investigation he discovered that a cartel grabbed Integrity Centre using fake Rates Statement of City Council.
Sonko attributed his woes to digging on the Integrity Centre matter that unearthed shocking revelations that put him at loggerheads with Mohamud, whom he claimed was the mastermind behind the grabbing and sale of Integrity Centre.
He added that on September 14 2018, then NLC vice-chair Abigael Mukolwe gazetted the compulsory acquisition of Integrity Centre, which was in essence government land after it reverted back on July 1 2012.
Sonko states that there was an effort by journalists sympathetic to the EACC to exonerate then NLC vice-chair and instead accuse Mohammed Swazuri of approving the compulsory acquisition of Integrity Centre.
He added that on April 17 2019, Swazuri was arrested and charged with 23 others and hence forced to leave office before the issue of EACC was to come up before parliamentary accounts committee. Sonko says on March 25 1994, Revack Limited was established by the firm of Esmail and Esmail Advocates with directors as Kassam Esmail and his mother, Shirin Esmail holding trust for unknown client to purchase the property known as Trade Bank Centre (now Integrity Centre) from the Deposit Protection Fund Board, at the time the liquidator of Trade Bank Limited.
He says on November 1 1994, Revack was given a loan of Sh152 million by Trade Finance Limited, a subsidiary of Trust Bank Ltd using as security land parcel Number Land Reference Number 209/1069 on which the Integrity Centre sits even before it had bought the same property.
The governor reveals that on November 10 1994, Revack partnered with Ajay Shah (one of executive directors of Trust Bank) who contributed an additional Sh65 million which was transferred from Trust Bank Ltd to its subsidiary, Trade Finance Ltd.
Trade Finance Ltd gave Revack Ltd a further loan of Sh152.5 million which the company used to pay DPFB Sh217.5 million for the property.
And on July 11 1995, Shirin Esmail and Kassam Esmail resigned as directors of Revack Ltd where Mukesh Jamnadas Gohil and Jassa Singh Videe were appointed directors.
The governor says on August 16 1995, Revack obtained another loan from Trade Finance Ltd of Sh156,486,301 and on September 18 1998, when Trust Bank was placed under statutory management, the outstanding debt owed by Revack Ltd, whose only asset was Integrity Centre, was Sh484,888,000.
By the time Trust Bank was put on liquidation on August 15 2001, the amount outstanding was higher because of accrued interest.
The governor says on October 12 1998, DPFB got court orders charging Integrity Centre Land for Sh152.5 million instead of the Sh488,888,000 outstanding at the time.
This fraudulent charge was registered on May 4 1999.
On March 24 2010, with the expiry of Integrity Centre Land coming on July 1 2010, Oraro and Advocates wrote on behalf of the Deposit Protection Fund seeking extension of the lease and issuance of a new title in favour of DPFB.
Revack had negotiated with government to transfer the land to DPFB to settle the depositors who lost their money to Trust Bank.
Sonko says on August 16 2010 after Integrity Centre Land Lease had expired, Trust Finance Bank (in liquidation) purported to execute a discharge in favour of Revack Ltd drawn by Oraro and Co Advocates.
He states that on May 2 2012, the land Act, 2012 commenced with express provisions in section 13(1) that where land reverts back to national or county government after expiry of leasehold tenure.
At this time, the Integrity Centre land was required for use by government, being the EACC headquarters.
He adds that on September 21 2012, the appointment of EACC chairperson Mumo Matemu was annulled by three-judge High Court bench after petition by little-known Trusted Society of Human Alliance and by the time he was reinstated on July 26 2013 it was too late to save Integrity Centre as it had changed hands on June 4 2013.
Sonko says on December 6 2012, without public participation as required by land Act, Peter Kahuho on behalf of Commissioner of Lands issued a Letter of Allotment Reference for Integrity Centre land to Revack Ltd.
And on March 13 2013, Tegus Ltd was registered with equal shareholders being Watuwatu Ltd and Sunnex Enterprises Ltd, with directors listed as Rachel Wanjugu Muthui and Anish Doshi.
Directors of Watuwatu Ltd are Ahmed Adan and his wife, Asma Ahmed Adan.
He says on April 4 2013, Oraro and Co Advocates wrote to Mrs Olando, assistant commissioner of Lands seeking to withdraw the documents released to her on March 24 2010 stating that, “the same are urgently required by DPFB for another transaction”.
He adds that on April 23 2013, DPFB director Rose Detho wrote to the Commissioner of Lands to process a new title deed and allow for collection of the same without indicating in whose favour the title was to be issued.
Sonko says on April 30 2013, a new grant was issued in favour of Revack Ltd and registered on May 2 2013 by Lands Registrar, one W Kamuyu.
He says on May 7 2013, the new grant was signed and collected by Ahmed.
And on May 10 2013, DPFB director Rose Detho wrote to EACC demanding investigations on the matter surrounding the Integrity Centre but within three days, lawyers for Revack negotiated and settled the debt owed with DPFB.
DPFB in turn discharged and released title documents to Revack.
He says on May 15 2013, Anthony Ongondi responded for EACC to DPFB acknowledging receipt of the 10th May 2013 letter with enclosures and promised to contact them shortly for more information, but EACC did nothing for a month, during which period Integrity Centre land was transferred to a company owned by Ahmed, a friend of Mohamud.
And on May 24 2013 consent to transfer this property was given by ESL Olando, the same assistant lands commissioner who wrote to Oraro and Co Advocates.
The governor says on May 24 2013, a transfer drawn by Wetang’ula, Adan, Makokha and Co Advocates for the Integrity Centre land was executed between Revack Ltd and Tegus Ltd with directors of Revack declared as Gideon Munyao Mwonga (Ahmed’s messenger) and Mohamed Thebet Tuwei (brother-in-law of Ahmed).
He says Mwonga, who hails from Embu, died mysteriously less than a year after signing the transfer after he offered to testify.
Tuwei was found in Kakamega by EACC investigators selling bread and indicated lack of knowledge of the firm known as Revack.
Sonko says on May 31 2013, the chief registrar Lands, Ngau raised the value of the land from the purchase price of Sh400 million to Sh450 million for purposes of stamp duty.
He notes that on June 4 2013 the Integrity Centre property lease was transferred to Tegus Ltd under unclear circumstances by CK Ngetich, Lands Registrar.
He says on October 3 2013, Mohamed wrote to DPFB asking for documents and information touching on the property.
He appointed Kipsang Sambai and Tabu Lwanga to collect the information.
A file was opened for the Integrity Centre land case but was never concluded.
Sonko says on February 14 2014, Detho wrote to EACC stating the matter stands resolved and request them to close the file.
Sonko claims on February 19 2014, Mohamud wrote to Lands secretary asking for original documents relating to the land.
And on August 29 2018, Humphrey Mahiva, deputy director investigations, wrote to Chief Land Registrar asking for certified copies of (1) Official Search of the said parcel (2) Parcel file/Deed File (3) Any other relevant documents.”
And on February 27 2015, in an EACC internal memo written to the chairman of EACC by Kipsang Sambai, he states “Sometime in May 2014, the Director-Investigations (Abdi Mohamud) asked me to cease investigating the matter until further notice. Up to now, I have not received any instructions to proceed. Sometimes after the instructions, the EACC CEO called me to his office and showed me a complaint letter against me from Kipkenda and Company Advocates. It was complaining against me for carrying out arbitrary investigations outside the mandate of EACC.”
Sonko says Kipkenda and Company Advocates wrote to EACC to complain against Sambai and Commissioner Irene Keino.
He says by end of the year Mohamud posted Sambai as the officer in charge, Malaba Satelite Office and later Garissa Satellite Office.
He adds that on August 21 2014, Mohamud submitted forged documents to frame Keino who was pushing for investigation on Integrity Centre.
One forgery was a letter dated November 11 2008 written by SK Mburugu as approval for change of user by Keino to change residential Plot 1/287 Kilimani Nairobi to multi-dwelling units.
Keino wrote to DCI, cabinet secretary Transport and Infrastructure, chair National Land Commission, CEO Kenya Railways Staff Benefit Scheme, cabinet secretary Lands, CEO of EACC stating “I have received intelligence information that some people are purporting to transfer the above property into my name at the National Land Commission. Iwish to confirm I have never applied for allocation of the said property at any time, nor have I appointed any agent to engage in such an illegality.
He adds that on December 17 2014, Kipkenda and Company Advocates, acting for Tegus Ltd, complained of clandestine activities intended to forge documents of its property by Sambai and Keino.
On February 18 2015, Kipkenda and Co. Advocates acting on instructions of Tegus issued a notice to EACC vacate Integrity Centre by June 30 2015. The firm also accused Sambai and Keino of unbecoming conduct.
The governor says on February 27 2015 Mumo replied asking for more details and on the same day asked Sambai to give him a report on the investigations.
He adds that on March 12 2015 Geoffrey Oriero of Oriaro and Co Advocates made a petition seeking the sacking of Mumo and Keino.
Oriaro stated that the EACC chair interfered with investigations into the multi-billion shilling Anglo Leasing scandal, and should, therefore be sacked.
On March 2o 2015, Mumo formed a special team to establish how Integrity Centre Land was transferred to Revack.
On April 19 2015, Mumo said his life was in danger after a van rammed into his official car twice in Nairobi along Chiromo Road.
On April 27 2015, the late Jacob Juma posted “How can Ahmed Adan Advocate and his wife Asma Ahmed Adan stole (sic) Integrity House”.
Sonko says one year later, Juma was killed in a cold-blooded murder that shocked the entire nation.
He adds that on April 30 2015, Keino resigned saying she did so to spare her family the anguish of a judicial process that will cause them unimaginable pain.
And on May 12 2015, Mumo resigned citing personal rights and interests.
Sonko says on May 31 2015 the last commissioner, Jane Onsongo resigned claiming EACC “was incapable of fighting corruption”.
Her bodyguard, an AP officer Joshua Momanyi, had earlier petitioned seeking her removal over gross misconduct and violating the constitution by sending her to buy groceries.
Sonko says on August 19 2015, Geoffrey Oriaro from Ugenya, the lawyer who had petitioned for sacking of Mumo and Keino was found dead in swimming pool at Beach Seafront Chalet Hotel.
He says former Ugenya MP Chris Karan raised the alarm saying the lawyer died barely six months after he filed a petition to oust EACC bosses but on August 24 2019, Karan was arrested by EACC and accused of forging documents used in the election petition.
Sonko claims on September 2 2015, three relatives of Oriaro died in a Nakuru road accident, two weeks after he was found dead.
Oriaro’s brother Patrick Ochieng and his wife Rose Akoth and their daughter were travelling back from his burial.
Sonko says on June 3 2019, EACC summoned lawyer Paul Gachoka but a few days later his close relative, James Gachoka, was arrested by EACC and accused of involvement in the Sh100 million audit vault scandal.
The governor says on July 30 2019, he was summoned by EACC weeks after he started probing the Integrity Centre land sale.
The summons indicated he had made utterances against Esther Passaris on Labour Day at Pumwani Grounds but they missed the fact that he made the statements on Madaraka Day at Pangani Grounds.
He adds that on August 7 2019, Siaya speaker George Okode who had called for probe into the death of Oriaro was summoned by EACC for allegedly pocketing Sh200,000 for “fictitious Uganda trip”.
He accuses Matopeni MCA Abdi Guyo of meeting Mohamud at the poolside of Heron Portico Hotel to nail him.
Sonko’s decision to stop construction and repossess four pieces of land in South C has not gone well with a section at EACC.
The piece of land has water tank of 24,000 litres. It is along Olive Hospital Road. Two other pieces are for construction of market and ECDE centre. How the public land was relocated to private developers is being investigated.
Sonko is fighting to have businessman Autar Singh Nadhra get his land that was allocated to individuals from Wajir county.
Documents show, the original title deed of Land plot LR No 209/12594 (Grant No 67057) measuring 0.411 Ha (1.016 acres) was issued to Autar Singh Nadhra on October 5 1995, May 1 1995 for 99 years.
The same property LR No 12594 is purportedly issued a new title under Lands act 2012, 1R 205587 but under the same deed plan No 1964 66 in the names of Osman Gabow Ibrahim and Esther Wahito Kuria from Wajir.