Directors of Tegus Limited, the company that owns the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission’s (EACC) headquarters building in Nairobi, are set to pocket more than Sh1.5 billion after the National Land Commission (NLC) approved the compulsory acquisition of Integrity Centre by the anti-corruption agency.
The transaction will see shareholders of the little-known company make Sh1.1 billion profit off Kenyan taxpayers on Integrity Centre, which was valued at Sh400 million only five years ago.
The EACC has deposited Sh1.5 billion with the commission to facilitate the acquisition of the building.
The NLC approved payments at a special compulsory land acquisition compensation committee sitting on July 5, 2018.
“The committee was satisfied that due process had been followed. The director valuation and taxation was instructed to proceed with the award to the registered proprietor of LR209/1069 and finalise the acquisition process in accordance with the law,” the commission said.
Tegus bought Integrity Centre from Revack Limited for Sh400 million in 2013.
Revack acquired the building from the Kenya Deposit Insurance Corporation, which liquidates collapsed banks’ assets to refund depositors.
Integrity Centre, whose acquisition by the EACC has been protracted and controversial, was previously owned by the collapsed Trust Bank.
The EACC had expressed concern over the delay in acquisition of the property.
“At the Land Acquisition and Compensation Committee meeting, the chairman explained the need for special meeting arose due to complaints by EACC that the commission had overstayed in compulsory acquisition of LR No 209/1069 that accommodate their offices.
“Of import were several letters by EACC regarding payment of rent in the building they occupied yet was earmarked for the acquisition and continual rent payment be deemed as double payments since government had deposited the compensation money with the commission,” minutes of the meeting seen by the Business Daily say.
The intention to acquire the property was published through a Kenya Gazette notice number 12385 of December 15, 2017. An inquiry notice No1519 was published on February 16, 2018.
The EACC had deposited a total of Sh1,518,000,000 for the purpose of acquisition and compensation.
A balance of Sh25,383,916 was yet to be remitted to the commission, the NLC said in the minutes of the meeting.
Salome Munubi, the director valuation and taxation, said the office of the Attorney-General cleared a request to purchase three properties for the EACC.
The NLC on December 5, 2017 wrote to the AG advising him to choose one property from Integrity Centre (LR 209/1069), Britam Centre (L.R 209/10520) and AEA Centre (L.R 209/2500) for acquisition as a legal requirement.
On June 20, 2017 the NLC wrote to the Principal Secretary (PS) for Lands and Physical Planning asking him to assist in the assessment and valuation to inform the suitability and affordability of the three properties.
On July 11, 2017, the commission requested for express instructions to compulsorily acquire LR 209/1069 and a day later the Attorney-General instructed the NLC to acquire LR 209/1069 on behalf of the EACC.
The commission then wrote on July 24, 2017 to the Lands PS cancelling instructions to assess and value the three properties.
The EACC authorised the NLC to pay Sh6,960 for gazettement fees from Sh250 million it had already deposited with the commission for acquisition of its head offices.
The anti-graft body on December 15, 2017 asked the NLC to continue with the acquisition of LR 209/1069 and copied the same to Henry Rotich, the Treasury Cabinet Secretary.
The commission conducted an inquiry on February 16, 2018 on the transfer of IR 3653 to Revack on November 10, 1994 before it was charged to Trust Finance Limited and discharged on June 30, 2017.
According to the commission, IR 144208 was granted to Revack and transferred to Tegus on June 4, 2006.