Kenya’s anti-graft body Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has frozen accounts and property worth Sh200 million owned by top officials of the Homa Bay County Assembly.
The assets, allegedly acquired through corruption, include several prime properties in Homa Bay, Kisumu and Nairobi Towns.
Among the assets are homes and business properties belonging to the suspects.
The properties, acquired by funds whose sources have been traced to the assembly, were preserved by way of restrictions by EACC in accordance with section 76 of the Land Registration Act, No. 3 of 2012.
The ruling by Judge Hellen Omondi also prohibits County Assembly clerk Bob Kephers, his wife Evelyne, and other officials from transferring or dealing with money in their accounts pending further action by the anti-corruption court.
Mr Kephars had filed an application under the certificate of urgency requesting the court to stop the EACC from proceeding with investigations. He also wanted the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) stopped from preferring criminal charges against the suspects.
Kephars argued that the assembly was a privileged institution and cannot be investigated for graft.
The EACC and DPP have since opposed the application and pleaded with the court for freedom to pursue the matter.
Part of an affidavit by EACC reads: “The assemblies’ powers were never meant to make them sanctuaries of criminal activities but to allow them to discharge their duties of lawmaking, oversight, and representation in strict observance of the constitution and the law.”
EACC is also seeking to have the cases moved to Nairobi with the aim of speeding up anti-corruption petitions in line with the new rules.
The agency is investigating the possible theft of taxpayer’s money amounting to more than Sh400 million.