The trustees of the Kenya Ports Authority pension scheme and a lawyer have returned Sh70 million in an out-of-court settlement deal following a fraudulent land transaction.
The Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission (EACC) had been seeking to recover the money from them since June 2017.
The commission started the asset recovery proceedings against 11 people and trading companies who it claimed they obtained the Sh70 million from the Kenya Ports Authority Retirement Benefits Scheme.
The proceedings were against lawyer Joseph Karanja Kanyi, Cecilia Faith Mango and Michael Kioko Maundu all trading as Kanyi & Company Advocates.
Others are Kikambala Development Company Ltd, Ephraim Maina Rwingo, Jane Njeri Karanja, Seline Consultants Ltd, Fredrick Otieno Oyugi, Joy Kavutsi Asiema, Joan Zawadi Karema, Juma Benson Thoya, Harry John Paul Arigi and Maurice Milimu.
The asset recovery case is nearly concluded save for the legal costs and interest which have not been agreed.
But pending the recording of the final consent on closure of the case, Justice John Onyiengo has dismissed respondents’ application to transfer the matter to the anti-corruption in Mombasa for the final determination.
The respondents urged that the cause of action having arisen in Mombasa and them also being residents of Mombasa, the interest of justice would demand that the matter be transferred to Mombasa.
But Justice Onyiengo rejected the application saying for the respondents to raise the issue when the matter is almost complete is perhaps an afterthought considering that the anti-corruption court in Mombasa is yet to start hearing cases.
“If parties enter consent judgment for payment of the principle sum, they can submit on the award of costs and interest which can take a short time and the court shall deliver a ruling.
“I hope with the electronic proceedings now in place, most mentions shall be conducted virtually hence no need to spend money by travelling to Nairobi,” said justice Onyiengo.
The commission moved to court following investigations into allegations that the trustees of the retirement scheme, popularly known as KPARBS 2012, had illegally and corruptly entered into a sale agreement for purchase of 100 acres of agricultural plots in Kikambala area at a price of Sh700 million.
The scheme executed the sale agreement on December 18, 2014 with Kikambala Development Company Limited which was not the legitimate owner of the land and a deposit of Sh70 million was paid to the company.
The company was incorporated by lawyer Kanyi to act as a special purpose vehicle where he would be represented by a proxy Ms Jane Njeri Karanja, EACC told court.
Later the company entered into a simultaneous sale agreement with the actual owners of the land, Amkeni Farm Limited, but failed to meet its obligation rendering itself unable to honour its agreement with the Scheme.
It also failed to refund the sum of money after the rescission of the contract.
The commission had earlier obtained injunctive orders against the respondents restraining them against dealing with the land parcels or transferring of Sh5 million held in British American Asset Managers LTD portfolio in the name of Karanja Kanyi.