The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has been allowed by the court of appeal to dig deep into the wealth of the ex-Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero.
The Court of Appeal declined to bar the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) from probing Dr Kidero and his wife Susan Mboya’s property and accounts in a quest to recover the unexplained wealth.
In a ruling by three judges, Justices Roslyn Nambuye, Daniel Musinga, and Gatembu Kairu ruled that investigations and filing of an asset recovery case had not started, hence Kidero had not convinced them that barring the anti-graft watchdog from investigating his family’s wealth would be adverse.
“The applicant has failed to controvert the second respondent’s averments in their replying affidavit that pending completion of investigations, filing, prosecution, and conclusion of the criminal case(s) against the applicants and the filing of the asset recovery suit, which actions are yet to commence, is unlikely to be concluded before the appeal, which is already filed, heard and determined,” the court ruled.
In the case, Kidero’s wife claimed she was a woman of means and had acquired her wealth, which was distinct from what her husband has. However, Justice Ngugi ruled that although her wealth ought to be protected, there was a need to ascertain that she did not acquire it in concert with Kidero.
“While the rights of women, whether within marriage or outside must be jealously safeguarded, it has to be acknowledged that they can be complicit, wittingly or otherwise, in the concealment of corruptly acquired public assets. Investigation of their assets in such circumstances is in the public interest and cannot be deemed a violation of their rights,” Justice Ngugi ruled.
EACC had claimed in the case that is at the court of appeal that the former governor had assets worth Sh9 billion which they claim was acquired through corruption or economic crimes.
According to Mulki Abdi Umar, one of the investigators in the case, Kidero also owns 11 vehicles that include Range Rovers and Mercedes Benzes. He, however, did not reveal how much the vehicles were worth in his reply before Justice Hedwig Ong’undi.
“The investigations have so far revealed that the first petitioner (Kidero) had amassed unexplained wealth, which is not commensurate with his known legitimate source of income and that to complete the investigations, it was necessary to search the first petitioner’s business, offices and residential premises,” EACC said in its response.
According to investigations, Kidero owns 50 rental units on Riara Road estimated at Sh1 billion and another property known as Muthaiga Heights worth the same amount.
More to this, Mr Umar said he received several complainants saying Kidero had illegally acquired wealth while he was the Mumias Sugar Company managing director and the Nairobi governor.
Preliminary investigations revealed Kidero had received tens of millions of shillings into several bank accounts and had acquired assets in Nairobi and outside the city.
On January 19, 2016, the EACC made an application at the Makadara Law Courts where it analysed Sh316 million in Kidero’s Family Bank account.