New twist as Nyagah is named in Sh9 billion Tatu City land scandal

Former Central Bank governor Nahashon Nyagah.
Former Central Bank governor Nahashon Nyagah. PHOTO | FILE |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

Former Central Bank governor Nahashon Nyagah has been implicated in a Sh9 billion land fraud case.

In court papers filed yesterday, Mr Nyagah is accused of illegally transferring land associated with Tatu City to his relatives, his cook’s daughter and members of his church congregation.

The suit filed in the High Court by Kofinaf and Galba Mining Ltd companies — associated with Tatu City developers — adds another twist to the never-ending case of the Sh240 billion city development.

“The plaintiffs have a real and present apprehension that the defendants intend to take over the trust property and transfer the same to third parties… thereby permanently depriving the plaintiffs of their beneficial ownership of the trust property and will do so unless restrained by an order of this court,” the suit says.

It argues that failure to secure the suit properties could see the plaintiffs suffer irreparable loss and damage.

In the court papers, Mr Nyagah is said to have transferred more than 900 hectares to himself through his proxies. The proxies are named as Ms Jane Wambui Gacoka, Mr Nyagah’s sister-in-law, Mr Jeremy Nyaga Njeru, his cousin and his long-time cook Ibrahim Mwatata’s daughter Nalia Nengodo Ibrahim.

He has also looped in three members of the New Covenant Church, where he is the chairman of the board. The three are Mr Jared Omondi Obor, Ms Zuhrah Atieno Awendo, and Mr Samuel Ojoro Malaki.

“The fraudulent scheme employed by the 1st defendant (Mr Nyagah) is evident from the fact that the 2nd, 3rd, 6th and 7th defendants who transferred their shares to the 19th defendant were awarded shares and directorship in a related SPV called Jojoja Properties Limited where a similar scheme was hatched to illegally transfer ownership and control of the company from the 1st Plaintiff. And this is the subject of a separate suit,” the court papers read.

The case has also sucked in Nairobi lawyer Nelson Havi of Havi & Co. Advocates, who is said to have colluded with Mr Nyagah in transferring the land. Mr Nyagah and Mr Havi have also been accused of tampering with records at both the Lands Registry and the Companies Registry, altering the documents to their advantage.

“Information on the alleged theft has been turned over to the police for investigation, which could lead to criminal charges filed against Nyagah,” say the plaintiffs.

Mr Nyagah and Mr Vimal Shah, the chief executive of Bidco, are also in court stopping change of directorship at Tatu City and also requesting audit of repayment for a loan used to acquire the properties.

Local partners in the Sh240 billion Tatu City project have opposed an application filed by one of their foreign partners who is contesting the appointment of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to audit the status of the off-shore loan accounts.

Colluding with PwC

Norwegian director Hans Jochum Horn claimed in a recent application that local Tatu City directors Nyagah and Shah are colluding with PwC to expand the limits of an ongoing audit approved by the court in March, this year. In the current suit, the two are accused of never putting a single cent in the project.

The two have been board directors of Tatu City since 2010 and are said to have earned about Sh48 million “finder’s fee for brokering the purchase of Tatu and Kofinaf estates.”

Justice Francis Gikonyo granted temporary orders stopping Mr Nyagah and his proxies from transferring or in any manner dealing with the suit properties.

The application will be heard on May 28.