Kenya: EACC Recovers Kenya Railways Land Illegally Allocated to Oburu Odinga

Nairobi — The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has recovered public land belonging to Kenya Railways that was irregularly allocated to East Africa Legislative Assembly MP Dr Oburu Odinga in Kisumu.

In a statement, the anti-graft body said that an investigation had showed that the allocation was done without the knowledge or consent of the state corporation.

"A declaration that the issuance of a Lease by the 2nd Defendant (Sammy Mwaita) to the 1st Defendant (Dr. Oburu Odinga) over Kisumu Municipality Block 7/509 was null and void ab initio and ineffectual to confer any right, interest or title upon the 1st Defendant in the first instance," it said.

EACC described the recovery of the land, from ODM leader Raila Odinga's brother, as a milestone since it comes in the wake of a presidential directive on repossession of the Kenya Railways land and the ongoing construction of the Kisumu Port.

"Following our investigations, the Ministry of Lands recalled the title vide letter dated 10th March 2009 to which Dr. Odinga did not comply. Thereafter the Ministry of Lands proceeded to cancel the title vide Gazette Notice 15577 of 26th November 2010. Dr. Odinga filed a petition challenging the cancellation being High court Petition No. 22 of 2014 which was dismissed by the court for lack of merit," the EACC stated issued on Friday night states.

The recovery was made following a court case filed by Oburu challenging the intended action by EACC, and which was dismissed as lacking merit.

"We had proved our case and granted us the following prayers sought in our plaint a declaration that the registration of the Lease and issuance of a Certificate of Lease over Kisumu Municipality Block 7/509 to the 1st Defendant was null and void," the statement said, "An order for rectification of the land register by cancellation of the Lease over Kisumu Municipality Block 7/509 and Certificate of Lease issued to the 1st Defendant so as to restore the suit property to the Corporation."

The Commission also recovered another irregularly allocated plot in Kisumu Municipality Block 7/455 which was Kenya Railways Land.

"We filed and prosecuted a suit at the Environment and Land Court for the Recovery of the suit. The witnesses were the same ones who testified in the Dr. Oburu Odinga's case above and the court granted us similar orders to those granted above save they relate to the land parcel Kisumu Municipality Block 7/455."

The EACC stated that after the two judgments, the EACC has now the powers to regularise the land ownership in readiness for the hand over to the Kenya Railways Corporation.

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