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Blow to Oparanya as High Court gives nod to freeze his millions

The millions have been frozen, pending completion of investigations into the former Kakamega Governor’s alleged involvement in Sh1.3 billion graft

Wycliffe Oparanya

The High Court has allowed the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) to freeze assets and cash worth 28.9 million belonging to Orange Democratic Movement Deputy party leader Wycliffe Oparanya.

EACC obtained the orders on Thursday as over the former Kakamega Governor’s alleged involvement in Sh1.3 billion graft during his reign.

While issuing the orders, High Court’s Justice Esther Maina directed that neither Oparanya nor any private company associated with him, their agents, servants or any other persons is permitted to withdraw, transfer, or in any other way dealing with the frozen amount for the next six months.

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The orders were issued pending investigations by the anti-graft body.

Sleuths raided the politician’s homes in Langa’ata and Butere on Wednesday, August 23 as part of the probe into alleged corruption and economic crimes committed during his tenure as governor.

The former governor was arrested alongside his wife Madam Priscillah and questioned by detectives over their alleged involvement in the embezzlement of Ksh.1.3 billion.

At the time of the arrest, Oparanya’s lawyer Ken Nyakundi said the officers produced a search warrant.

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“We could not stop them from doing what they wanted. We are currently at the EACC headquarters and we will communicate further," he said.

A minor scuffle was reported after EACC officers demanded that the former governor be driven in their official vehicle, with the governor insisting that he would present himself.

According to investigators, Oparanya acquired public funds through proxies during his tenure at the helm of the county.

Multimillion house and companies on the radar

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On the radar are two companies, Sesela Resources Limited and Sabema International Limited which whose services were enlisted by the Government of Kakamega to purchase a house in Karen, Nairobi.

Documents seen by a section of the press relating to the matter indicate that the house in question, named Olorua Ridge Development, was acquired from the Local Authorities Pension Trust Registered Trustees (LAPTRUST) at a cost of Sh89million.

"It is suspected that the former Governor used a company, called Tricomp Energy Company Limited, as a vehicle to purchase the house in Karen," reads part of documents in matter that is set to be mentioned on June 11, 2024.

A number of former and current politicians are on EACC’s radar over alleged involvement in corrupt dealings.

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