EACC wants ministry of land staff to forfeit unexplained assets worth KES 1.2B

The Ethics and Ati-Corruption Commission has sued Nicholas Owino Ochiel, Senior Assistant Director at the Ministry of Lands, seeking High Court to order him to forfeit to the Government unexplained assets worth KES 1.2 billion.

The commission believes the assets were procured through corruption.

Ochiel is being sued along with his wife Violet Terry Muthoni Maina, his brother Richard Omondi Ochiel, and two companies associated with them, Ternic Valuers Limited and Ternic Enterprises Limited.

On Monday, October 24, 2022, the High Court issued injunctions freezing the assets until the recovery suit filed by EACC on June 15, 2022 is heard and determined.

When the suit was filed in June, the High Court issued temporary orders freezing the assets to allow for the hearing of the EACC application for injunction freezing the assets until the recovery suit was fully heard and determined.

The case was heard on October 24, 2022, to determine whether the defendants had filed responses to both the EACC injunction application and the main recovery suit filed on June 15, 2022.

EACC informed the court that it had never received any responses from the defendants since the matter was filed on June 15, 2022. The defendants’ Attorney confirmed that they had yet to respond and requested a 21-day extension to comply.

Ochiel is accused of abusing his position to benefit himself by entering into contracts with private entities for services he was employed and paid to provide at the Ministry, and he is reasonably suspected of corrupt conduct by using privileged official information at the Ministry for financial gain through companies associated with him, namely Ternic Valuers Limited and Ternic Enterprises Limited, thereby jeopardizing his public or official duties in the process.

Ochiel is also accused of using his close associates, Violet Terry Muthoni Maina and Richard Omondi Ochiel, his wife and brother, as conduits to receive, hold, or otherwise conceal funds obtained during or as a result of his corrupt behavior.

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