The land on which the building stands had been placed in the hands of central bank’s deposit protection fund but is currently at the centre of an alleged corruption ring, suspected to involve some senior officials at the anti-graft body.
When a fallout within the ethics and anti-corruption commission came into the public limelight, details remained scanty on what was the cause until now when the rot at the commission was exposed.
What was revealed was that the conflict was a result of group and personal interests linked to the ownership of the integrity centre the building that houses the graft body.
This was besides claims of corruption within the commission with some claiming that officials were protecting individuals mentioned in mega corruption scandals such as Anglo-leasing.
Tegas limited, a company which owned the building before it was transferred to the EACC commission had issued an eviction notice claiming that a senior EACC official had been helping fraudsters change ownership of the building in a land grabbing syndicate.
At that time EACC chairman Mumo Matemu questioned the motive in a letter addressed to the national land commission. The letter dated April 2015 was a followup on an ongoing investigation on the integrity of the deputy chief executive officer Mr Micheal Mubea.
The committee set up to investigate the officer was to find out his involvement in the process of discharging integrity centre building in a manner which was irregular, illegal and laced with corruption and economic crime.
The committee was also to look into whether there was a forgery of documents involved and why the property had not been reverted to the owner at that time when the lease expired.
How the Property was eventually sold
Before EACC acquired the building, documents and records at the Ministry of Lands showed that the building, which stands on 0.4867 hectares of prime land, was estimated to be worth Sh450 million by the government valuer and was owned by Tegus Limited.
The building lies on 0.4867 hectares of prime land and is without enough parking but at the centre of the controversy is how it was acquired at Ksh 1.5 billion despite the initial buyer acquiring it at Ksh 400m.
When the files were opened in 2015, the then EACC CEO Halakhe Waqo said that the commission was satisfied with how the acquisition was done and asked that the investigation files opened by the DPP be closed.
The DPP refused to close the files and asked that investigation agency to look into the matter.
The ownership of the Integrity Centre was so contentious that the commission wrote to the National Land Commission (NLC) chairman Swazuri to investigate the matter, even as they considered acquiring different premises which they did not.
When the lease expired, the EACC was notified by Revack Limited, a company associated with former Cabinet minister Nicholas Biwott to vacate the building and to start renovating the iconic building in Nairobi before moving out.
The notice triggered a robust reaction from Matemu who said the ownership of the building was the subject of investigation.
“We have to check how the ownership of this building is structured. If the owner is Revack, why is Revack again writing on behalf of the landlord?” Matemu asked.
Matemu linked the eviction notice to a scheme targeting the disruption of various high-profile investigations.
“We are fighting a big war and we are currently pursuing three major cases of national importance. People are hitting back in a bid to divert investigations. But we have promised to deliver and that we must do,” said Matemu.
Until now, a parliamentary committee has opened an investigation into an alleged irregular acquisition of Integrity Centre to unearth the puzzle of the building bought at Sh400 million in 2013 but sold to the agency for Sh1.5 billion in 2017.
PAC chairman and Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi said the committee will prosecute the matter ‘robustly without fear or favour’.
He termed the investigations as a matter of immense public interest as it involves the taxpayer’s money.