BY SAM ALFAN.
More trouble for members of the Ngirita family after the High Court sanctioned the forfeiture of their properties ruling that they were proceeds of crime.
The decision is a huge boost on the fight against corruption in the country.
High court Anti-corruption division Justice Mumbi Ngugi declared that the said properties belonging to Phyllis Njeri, Jeremiah Gichini Ngirita and their mother Lucy Wambui Ngirita were acquired through proceeds of crime.
“From the evidence, I am satisfied that the agency has placed sufficient material before the court to require the respondents to explain the basis of the massive deposits that they received from NYS and the source of the funds from which they purchased the properties,” the Judge said.
Through a 110 page judgement, the Judge noted that the family received multiple payments in a single day, amounts that ran into millions.
The family failed to show a legitimate source of the funds deposited in the several bank accounts from NYS accounts in the 2015-2018 period.
“It is my finding and so hold, that the motor vehicles and real properties the subject of this application are proceeds of crime and should be forfeited to the state, “Mumbi declared.
In October 17 and 18, for instance, the three including the mother Lucy Wambui and her daughter Phyllis and son Jeremiah Gichina, received a total of Sh133 million, amounts that were deposited in their respective accounts.
They then went into a spending spree, buying land and vehicles. “From the material placed before me by the agency, one is constrained to draw the inference that the transactions which resulted in these deposits were criminal in nature. It beggars belief that it is possible for public funds to be legitimately transmitted to individual accounts in such a manner,” the Judge said.
According to court documents, Ngirita received Sh211 million from NYS to KCB accounts belonging to her firms, Waluco Investments and Ngiwaco Investments, while Jeremiah through his company JerryCathy received Sh87.9 million between December 2015 and April 2016.
Ngirita transferred Sh58 million to her personal account at KCB, bought a Sh46 million plot in Naivasha and another in Nakuru for Sh7 million.
She jointly with her son purchased a 0.70-hectare parcel of land in Waitaluk in Kitale for Sh20 million. Jeremiah bought plots in Naivasha and Nakuru for Sh2.5 million. Phyllis received Sh57.2 million from NYS. The properties were purchased between 2016 and 2017, the period when money was stolen from NYS.
The properties include a parcel of land in Waitaluk in Kitale, measuring 0.70 hectares, another land is situated in Naivasha town, which was sold to Lucy Ngirita by New Hope for All Nations on July 8, 2016 and another one in Nakuru East measuring an acre which she acquired on April 25, 2017.
Others are a land in Kiamunyi area of Nakuru town in an agreement dated October 28, 2016 while Gichini is said to have acquired a parcel in Mwicingiri area in Naivasha on July 1, 2016.