Saturday, September 23, 2023

Nicholas Owino who has Sh. 1.2 billion wealth from Sh. 150,000 salary fights back

A civil servant who owns Sh. 1.2 billion wealth has caught the eye of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission.

The civil servant who was identified as Nicholas Owino Ochiel has accumulated the wealth despite being on a salary of Sh. 150,000 per month.

Ochiel is now fighting back. He has accused the anti-graft agency of using unconstitutional means to freeze his assets. Ochiel, who is a senior assistant director of valuation at the Ministry, has told the court  that the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission committed serious breaches of law when it purported to conduct a lifestyle audit on him.

“The notices were incompetent and fatally defective in that they did not delimit the time frame of the investigations, nor did they specify the property targeted for investigations with respect to which the information was sought as required by Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act,” Ochiel said in court.

Ochiel became the subject of investigation in 2022. In a petition filed before the court kast year by the EACC, targeted properties including his residence in Karen valued at Sh. 80 million, a house in Thome estate worth Sh. 130 million, flats in Parklands valued at Sh. 100 million and an uncompleted commercial building in Kisumu worth Sh. 190 million.

Other  properties that are owned by Owino are residential property in Lolwe Kisumu worth Sh. 53 million, a block of flats in Lolwe estate, Kisumu (Sh. 55.5 million), and a house in Mirema valued at Sh. 23 million and three vehicles.

The EACC says money that went through his M-Pesa amounts to Sh. 497 million, the properties are worth Sh. 694.6 million, and the cars are valued at Sh. 10.5 million.

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Reports say that Owino was first employed at the ministry as a valuer in 1996 and was the principal valuer from 2012 to 2016 before he was promoted to the current position.

Court documents presented by the EACC show that the Owino acquired the properties between January 2003 and November 2018 as he took abused his position by entering into deals with property development companies, organisations and individuals seeking services such as valuation, payment of government stamp duty, and title processing among others.

“The 1st Defendant/Respondent is reasonably suspected of corrupt conduct by using privileged official information at the Ministry for financial gain,” the EACC told the court.

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  1. You mean in this country you can’t live past your paid salary!that is not right infact salary is just but a supliment even EACC officials knows it and they live past it

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