Home » Equity Bank owners now linked to infamous lands billionaire Nicholas Owino Ochiel 

Equity Bank owners now linked to infamous lands billionaire Nicholas Owino Ochiel 

by Joshua Wanga
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Over the last couple of days, the name Nicholas Owino Ochiel has been trending for all the wrong reasons. Although the Ministry of Lands employee has an accumulative salary of Kshs 6.3 million from all his working years at Ardhi House, he was found to be worth Kshs. 1.2 billion by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission. Even more intriguing is the latest emerging details which link him to one of the country’s richest individuals.

Details are now surfacing that back in a 2017 case, the Waterfront Outlet was embroiled in a bitter legal tussle with Ternic Enterprises Limited. The two companies were contesting the sale of a piece of property, where Ternic Enterprises Limited was accusing Waterfront Outlets of financial misconduct. In the court documents, Waterfront Outlets who were the respondents accused Ternic Enterprises Limited of colluding with a Nicholas Owino Ochiel. In the case, Ochiel’s name dramatically came up as the appellants were accused of working with him, who was their director at the time, to fraudulently transfer shares.

Worth noting is that the Waterfront Outlet is associated with the wealthy Muguku family who also have major interests in Equity Bank.
The anti-graft body, EACC, moved to court to seize houses, land and cars belonging to the Ministry of Lands official accused of amassing wealth worth Sh1.2 billion from proceeds of corruption.

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission says in court documents that Nicholas Owino Ochiel, who is a senior assistant director of valuation at the Ministry, amassed the millions through corrupt schemes.

Court documents show that the official acquired the properties between January 2003 and November 2018 as he took abused his position by entering into deals with property development companies, organisations and individuals seeking services such as valuation, payment of government stamp duty, and title processing among others.
The anti-graft body says by entering into deals and also conducting forensic audit services, Mr Ochiel was in direct conflict with his full-time job as an employee of the ministry.

“The 1st Defendant/Respondent is reasonably suspected of corrupt conduct by using privileged official information at the Ministry for financial gain,” the EACC said in court documents.
The commission is targeting properties including his residence in Karen valued at Sh80 million, a house in Thome estate worth Sh130 million, flats in Parklands valued at Sh100 million and an uncompleted commercial building in Kisumu worth Sh190 million.

Others are residential property in Lolwe Kisumu worth Sh53 million, a block of flats in Lolwe estate, Kisumu (sh55.5 million), and a house in Mirema valued at Sh23 million and three vehicles.
The EACC says money that went through his M-Pesa amounts to Sh497 million, the properties are worth Sh694.6 million, and the cars are valued at Sh10.5 million.

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