REPULSED

Drama as EACC detectives raid Sonko’s office

Anti-graft agency is probing how governor acquired Sh500 million land belong to Kenya Railways

In Summary

• Governors supporters repulse officers who had scaled a perimeter wall to access compound.

• EACC is investigating how the governor acquired the property from Kenya Railway pension scheme.

EACC detectives and polices stranded outside Governor Mike Sonko's Private office in Upper after they barred from accessing the premises on Tuesday, June 30, 2020.
EACC detectives and polices stranded outside Governor Mike Sonko's Private office in Upper after they barred from accessing the premises on Tuesday, June 30, 2020.
Image: COURTESY

Drama ensued at Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko’s private office in Upper Hill on Tuesday when EACC detectives stormed the premises for a search.

Tens of police officers had accompanied the detectives to the governor’s offices believed to be sitting on a Sh500 million acre parcel belonging to Kenya Railways pensioners.

The offices arrived at the compound at about 10am for an inspection and valuation of the land.

 

The land is estimated at Sh500 million.

Sources at the governor’s office said the detectives parked their cars at the entrance and used it to scale the gate to access the compound.

However, they were repulsed by the governor’s supporters who were already inside the compound after getting wind of the impending raid.

After a three hour standoff with the governor’s supporters, the officers left without achieving their mission.

The investigators informed Sonko’s aides that they had come to conduct a search and to assess the actual size of the plot whose controversial sale is under probe.

EACC is investigating how the governor acquired the property from Kenya Railway pension scheme.

The officers produced a warrant of search issued to EACC investigator Christine Nthiga on June 23 by a Nairobi chief magistrate.

 

The EACC officers also said they had orders to conduct a valuation on the property. They were with officers from Gimco Valuers.

On June 25, EACC assistant director in charge of Forensic Investigations wrote to Kenya Railway Staff Retirement Benefits Scheme requesting them to appoint an officer to join the valuation process.

Sonko said he was surprised that detectives could storm his compound by scaling the gates when nobody had stopped them from accessing the property.

“The officers are welcome to conduct their investigations without any showmanship. As a law abiding citizen, I have cooperated with all the investigations. Let them follow the right procedure and come back,” Sonko said.

The governor said the property was legally acquired from the pension scheme.

The land LR. 209/6507 is owned by KRSBR but Sonko insists he had entered into an agreement to lease the property on May 22, 2017 for use as an office space.

The property then served as his campaign centre for the 2017 gubernatorial campaign and also as a tallying centre for the Jubilee party in Nairobi.

While as a tenant, in December 2017 and December 2018 under tender No. KRSBRS/013/PLM. 2017 and tender No. KRSRBS/08/PLM. 2018, the Pension Trustees advertised for an open tender to purchase parcels of the property. Both bids were non-responsive.

And in February 2019, under Tender No. KRSRBS/02/PLM.2019, the trustees placed another open tender which he said he bid successfully.

“Following the third tender advert, we entered into an agreement with the trustees to purchase two portions of the land for Sh498.5 million on April 30, 2019. We have since paid Sh144.6 million as part of payment in accordance with the contract," Sonko said.

The transactions were done from his DTB account to Co-operative Bank accounts of the Pension Scheme Trustees through an RTGS while some of the amounts were paid from his lawyer's accounts.

“The sources of this money can be provided and not a single cent can be traced to City Hall funds,” Sonko said.

EACC was yet to issue a statement on the drama.