Why Keriako Tobiko should be sacked as Cabinet Secretary

By Blamuel Njururi, Kenya Confidential Editor-in-Chief, Nairobi – May 9, 2018

Tobiko’s tenure as Director of Prosecution has nothing to show in terms of timely, efficient and successful prosecutions in a country decaying in a sagacious sea of corruption and organised criminal syndicates. It was a nightmare to many innocent Kenyans who were dragged though years of malicious prosecutions and many extorted of tens of millions – some died

When the Environment and Forestry Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko appeared before the Parliamentary Vetting Committee he impressed upon ignorant members of the committee on how he worked with Maasai Community groups to “understand land and environmental issues”. His body language exude hallucinating gaiety in a fashion familiar with optic illusion confidence tricksters.

The former Director of Public Prosecutions concealed his real-self and deliberately refused to reveal to the committee that his legal services were to members of a powerful ole Ntutu family in Maasai that amassed huge chunks of land, and ended up virtually owning the entire Maasai Mau Trust Land Forest in Narok.

Documents in our possession show that seven members of the ole Ntutu family of late ex-senior chief Lerionka ole Ntutu, including his son, former assistant minister Stephen ole Ntutu, irregularly acquired large parcels of land in different names.

Tobiko further failed to disclose to the Parliamentary Committee that his Law Firm, Tobiko & Associates, established in 1997, was involved the transactions of the irregular land deals, in which the Maasai communities lost their heritage for posterity to an individual family. He later merged his firm with Bernard Njoroge Advocates to form Tobiko Njoroge & Co Advocates located in Park View Towers – which Kenyans of clear conscience must avoid henceforth.

The appointment of Tobiko as Environment and Forestry Cabinet Secretary was like hiring a mortician to resurrect a patient he had killed. The report he hurriedly appointed the Green Movement to compile was intended to build a thick cover up layer added to many he erected as Director of Public Prosecution to protect the clients he aided in grabbing Maasai Mau Forest and Maasai Mara National Park.

Tobiko’s appointment was a blunder in a government that claims it intends to protect forests and environmental degradation then appoints hardcore architect of forest destruction and wildlife environmental destruction to come up with solutions. A valuable document by the Ndungu Commission is very clear on who grabbed what public land where and it is all Uhuru Kenyatta government needs to rectify the situation.

Tobiko beneficiaries thereafter sold their chunks of land at huge sums of money running into millions of shillings. The original sizes of most of the land was hugely inflated before being sold. One such stretch of land is the Nkaroni Group Ranch registered in the names of the former assistant minister, his brothers and sisters. Other cases of massive encroachment into the forest included, Enaisomi, Sisami, Ngobeni, Neiyo, and Nkareta ranches and farms. Those are groups Tobiko made Parliamentary Vetting Committee he had rendered invaluable legal services to the Maasai Community.

Manipulation of land ownership was part of the transactions selectively taught. Some 70.03 hectares of the Nkaroni land registered in 1999 by Ntutu family members was later in 2002 issued as a “gift” to a Kipruto Arap Ngeno, only to be transferred back to a member of the Ntutu family — a Looyieyio ole Ntutu — two years later.

The June 2004 report of the Ndungu Commission of Inquiry into the Illegal and Irregular allocations of public land notes that sizes of most of the group ranches allocated were inflated hugely and the difference sold to unsuspecting settlers. The report cites the Nkaroni Group Ranch that registered the initial size as 1,597.5 hectares and whose current size is estimate at approximately 9,000 hectares. Others include the Enaikishomi Group Ranch and the Sisiyian Farm.

The Enaikishomi Group Ranch, owned by a former chief, ole Sankei was inflated from 300 hectares to approximately 2,700 hectares, while the Nkaroni Group Ranch, was inflated from an initial size of 844.5 hectares to an estimated 9,000 hectares.

According to the Ndung’u Commission of Inquiry report, Enaikishomi Group Ranch, which was under Tobiko’s tutelage is one of the ranches that were used by officers in the then Ministry of Lands and Settlement to encroach into the Maasai Trust Land Forest. The report notes that a big area of the forest was de-registered irregularly and allocated to several individuals by the ministry illegally.

Furthermore, the Nkaroni Group Ranch in the Mara Ololulunga area, 1,364.70 hectares of land registered in Mr Livingstone Ntutu’s names — a brother to the former assistant minister — was sold to Ilgina Contractors Limited for a sum of Ksh13 million at the rate of Ksh20,000 per acre and the public land sub-divided in what Tobiko cannot claim ignorance.

A sale agreement in our possession indicates that the installments for the sum were paid in the name of Livingstone ole Ntuntu as the agent for the ranch. The same was certified by the Narok District land registrar in July 2005.

Interestingly, however, Ilgina Contractors Limited purportedly registered in Kisii, was a Ntutu family company. The Registrar of Companies in a letter to lawyers S. Musalia Mwenesi in December 2005, confirms that the records as at that date indicated the directors and shareholders of Ilngina Contractors Limited were Ms Agnes Naropil Ntutu, Kiteleiki Ntutu and Kunini Ntutu, with shares of 490,490 and 20 respectively.

In a letter of September 15, 1999 Mr Tobiko maintained that ole Ntutu’s Title NAROK/CIS/MARA/OLOLULUNGA (Parcel 9678) 2,000 hectares, was not part of the Gazetted Forest land even after the public custodian, Narok County Council, explained it was an integral part of the Forest that was hived irregularly from Maasai Mara Forest Title Narok/CIS/Mara/Ololulunga/9470, Parcel 9470 in 1999 by Tobiko’s client, Livingstone Kunini ole Ntutu to his family company Ilngina Contractors Ltd.

Tobiko further failed to disclose to Parliamentary Committee that he also aided the same Livingstone ole Ntutu in acquisition of another 4,000 acres  (2,000 hectares) of Maasai Mara National Reserve irregularly and illegally hived out of the National Reserve – Maasai Mara National Reserve Title No Narok/CIS Mara/Talek/155.

Ironically, it is the Ntutu Moi era Presidential Commission set up in 1986 that was to establish the boundaries of the Maasai Mau Forest. The commission’s report was to be used as authentic reference for forest boundaries and in establishing cutoff lines for evictions.

Now the family has Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko on its side to decide over what he assisted in grabbing. In simple language that is nonsense and the sooner Tobiko is removed from the Ministry of environment and Forestry and, indeed, entirely from the Cabinet, the better. He has made enough money to live on and should not be allowed to inflict more harm damage to the forests of the people of Kenya.

Tobiko’s tenure as Director of Prosecution has nothing to show in terms of timely efficient and successful prosecutions in a country decaying in a sagacious sea of corruption and organised criminal syndicates. It was a nightmare to many innocent Kenyans who were dragged though years malicious prosecutions and many extorted of tens of millions – some died. A founder of multi-billion-shilling Equity Bank has very bitter memories over bungled National Oil Petroleum products importation that cost him dearly.

Before the vetting committee Tobiko had the audacity to claim that he did not intervene in a malicious prosecution a lady from Thika complained about because the Thika office enjoyed autonomy in its prosecution matters. No Member of Parliament, a House of Records, asked the lawyer where such autonomy is anchored in Law or indeed the Constitution.

The Constitution Chapter 157 part article 11 says the following about the office of the Director of Prosecutions:

In exercising the powers conferred by this Article, the Director of Public Prosecutions shall have regard to the public interest, the interests of the administration of justice and the need to prevent and avoid abuse of the legal process.
Tobiko had no regard to public interest nor that of the administration of justice and saw no need to prevent and avoid abuse of the legal process.

He pursues self-aggrandizement agenda.

Additional information Caroline Wafula – Nation Newspapers.