BY SAM ALFAN.
High Court has forfeited a company property that was allegedly bought through proceeds of crime back to the government.
Presiding Judge -High Court Anti-Corruption Division, Hedwig Ong’udi ordered Quorandum Limited to transfer to the Asset Recovery Agency.
“Order is hereby issued transferring Duplex Apartment number C16 situate on LR No. 209/5990/13 grant number 18295/9 to the Asset Recovery Agency”. Ruled Judge Ong’undi.
The judge also ordered 8.8 million shillings recovered from businessman Ezekiel Otieno Owour which was transferred from Quorandum limited to him as a purported loan also be forfeited to to the Agency.
“An order of forfeiture is hereby issued against property known as Duplex Apartment number C16 situate on LR No. 209/5990/13 grant number 18295/9 and Kshs. 8,800,000 to the Asset Recovery Agency”. Judge further ordered.
The judge in her 66 page judgement noted that the forfeiture orders against the said property known as Duplex Apartment is not affected by the outcome of the criminal proceedings where the Quorandum limited has been charged.
According to the judgement, civil forfeiture proceedings are not subject to presumption of innocence which is a criminal law phenomenon.
The case before court was in respect to of recovery of Duplex Apartment which was procured by Quorandum Limited using unlawful obtained funds plus the Kshs. 8.800.000 transferred to Ezekiel Otieno Oduor as a purported loan.
According to court documents seen by NairobiTimez.co.ke, the Asset Recovery Agency moved to court on 3 of January 2017 seeking the said property and 8.8 million be forfeited to the government.
The Agency further wanted the court to issue orders to facilitate the transfer of forfeited assets to the government.
The application was supported by affidavit sworn by the Agency Director Muthoni Kimani and investigating Officer Chief Inspector James Munyuru attached to the agency from DCI.
They obtained a preservation order of the apartment and order directing Ezekiel Otieno Owour to to deposit 8.8 million into an account that was indicated in the miscellaneous application dated 26th of October 2016.
The preservation orders were obtained from finding of the investigation conducted by Director of Criminal Investigation which established that funds amounting to 180,894,946 million were unlawfully transferred from Youth Enterprise Development Fund (YEDF) Bank account without provision of any services.
Investigations further established part of the money was used to procure the apartment from Duchess Park Development Company Limited at a cost of 48.500,000 million but the same has not been transferred to the Quorandum limited. In addition , 8.8 million was transferred to Ezekiel Otieno Owour as a purported loan.
During the hearing, the Agency through Senior State Counsel Mohammed Adow argued that the apartment and 8.8 million are proceeds of crime liable for recovery under proceeds of crime and Laundering Act.
“It is in the interests of justice that the above mentioned properties be forfeited to the government of Kenya and applied for public good on behalf of citizens of Kenya who are victims of crime”. Submitted Adow.
Two Quorandum Limited directors Mukuria Ngamau, Doreen Waithera and others have an ongoing corruption case before Nairobi Anti-Corruption court.