Assets belonging to the opposition Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) deputy party leader Wycliffe Oparanya have been frozen by the the High Court in the ongoing graft probe in relation to the alleged embezzlement of Sh1.3 billion during his two-term administration as Kakamega Governor.
Lady Justice Esther Maina of the Milimani Anti-Corruption High Court issued the preservation orders for the property belonging to Oparanya, including his Karen house valued at Sh89 million for a period of six months pending conclusion of investigations by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission.
The orders were issued after the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission (EACC) lodged a suit before the Anti-Corruption Court seeking to have the same properties frozen for six months to enable detectives’ complete investigations and filling a forfeit suit.
The commission, through court documents, says it is investigating allegations of procurement irregularities and conflict of interest amongst public officials in the County Government of Kakamega including Oparanya during the financial years 2013/2014 to 2021/2022.
The court heard that preliminary investigations have revealed that there were procurement irregularities and conflict of interest in the award of tenders by the County Government of Kakamega valued at approximately Sh 1,387,310.025 to several companies associated with officials of the County Government of Kakamega
“Investigations reveal that the first respondent(Oparanya), a former Governor of Kakamega County, used the second respondent (Tripcomp Energy Company Limited) firm as a vehicle to purchase a house in Karen, Olorua Ridge Development on LR 6939/2 at a purchase price of Sh89 million from the Local Authorities Pension Trust Registered Trustees (LAPTRUST),” EACC informed the Judge.
The court heard that investigations conducted so far by EACC detectives have established that the funds paid to two companies by the County Government of Kakamega to perform various works were contracted by the County.
The anti-graft body adds that Sesela Resources Limited and Sabema International Limited, have been directly linked to the purchase of the said house during the period he served as Governor of Kakamega County from 2013 to 2022.
The court heard that in attempt to conceal the elaborate alleged corrupt conduct scheme the said two companies paid a total of Sh15 million to LAPTRUST towards purchase of the Karen property for the former Governor.
“In this web of concealment, after receiving payments from the County Government of Kakamega, the two companies wired money to advocates of the former governor, who then transferred the funds to LAPRTUST towards the purchase of the said house in Karen. Sesela Resources Limited transferred Sh10 million and Sabema International Limited Sh5 million, “ EACC lawyer Joram Wambugu informed the court.
The commission is seeking to recover the assets worth billions of shillings from Oparanya and several companies associated with officials of the Kakamega county government amounting to Sh1,387,310.025 alleged to have been acquired through proceed of crime.
The judge barred Oparanya, his agents or associates from interfering in any way with Sh28.9 million held in trust fund company known as Local Authorities Pension Trust Registered Trustees (LAPTRUST).
“The respondents, their agents, servants or any other persons is prohibited from withdrawing, transferring, disposing of or in any other way dealing with all the funds held in the LAPTRUST’s escrow account for the sale and purchase of a property and/or house between the Tripcomp Energy Company and LAPTRUST’s howsoever so held either for and/or on behalf of Oparanya, “ ordered Justice Maina.
The judge granted Oparanya seven days to file his pleadings in the matter before hearing on June 11, 2024