A drive by auctioneers to foreclose on a city businessman’s millions of dollars in office rent arrears resulted in the removal of the mask on his past dealings.
In what they describe as a shocking turn of events, auctioneers’ security officers seized a selection of 22 guns and more than 500 bullets from Mr. Ken Wycliffe Lugwili’s office in Applewood Park in Kilimani, Nairobi. And it turns out that Mr. Lugwili, whose license as an arms dealer was suspended in unclear circumstances three years ago, was no stranger to controversy and shady dealings.
The Nation learned he has been linked in the past to land fraud, fake currency claims and impersonating a former presidential aide to swindle businessmen out of cash. He also controversially claimed ownership of a luxury car that was reportedly dropping off a woman who was mysteriously killed in 2011 after attending a party at a Nairobi estate.
In 2014 a Nairobi court found Mr Lugwili guilty of taking ownership of a piece of land in Lavington worth Sh18 million to himself – under the name of Ken Lugwili – and to have transferred his accomplice by that name Moses Ndirangu Itumia.
The land was reportedly purchased in 1993 by Mr. Erwin August Stillhard and Mr. Suminder Sonia Stillhard, who until 2016 in were in silent possession when they lost the land Original Title Deed, requiring the application for a Provisional Deed.
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However, in 2018, court documents show that whe the rent payment account bore the names of Ken Lugwili and Moses Ndirangu Ituma.
Upon inquiry to the Fees Department, they learned that on February 2, 2018, the Second and Third Defendants filed an amendment to the property data of the complaint property from the plaintiffs’ names to their own names.
Insulted, the two owners filed suit and, interestingly, the two suspects did not file a defense.
The court heard that Mr. August and Mr. Sonia had never sold or transferred the property to any other person and was satisfied that the plaintiffs had established their claim to the claimant’s property.
Others include nine gun grips, 12 rivets, seven spacers, 15 flash aids , seven firearm keys, two firearm cleaning brushes, a certificate of registration as a firearms dealer, an expired Nairobi City County business license number 1476629, two shots gun movement registers and various firearms manuals.
Over 6 million shillings in rent arrears
Documents viewed by the Nation show that the suspect owed the tenant more than Sh6 million in rent arrears for the past two years, accruing at a rate of Sh173,000 per month. However, police records show a total of Sh4.9 million.
The landlord had delayed plans to evict Mr Lugwili in hopes that he would eventually pay his arrears . The tenant had also strengthened his office, called Vic Technology System Limited, which he used as an armory for his arms dealer.
The nation learned of this Mr Lugwili was aware of the plan to auction off his property and did not object to it.
He instead appeared at Kilimani Police Station on Wednesday, accompanied by his lawyers, after He was transferred Tuesday night.
Moments later, he was taken away by detectives and handed over to officers from the Counter-Terrorism Police Unit, who have taken over the investigation. p>
Mr Simon Mburu, one of Mr Lugwili’s lawyers, told reporters yesterday that no court order had been served on their client when the auctioneers broke into his office, adding that their customer’s dealer license was valid at the time of the incident.
“This wasn’t an auction, it was a burglary. An auction was not even held. We don’t know the allegations yet. The problem is that the weapons were seized from his premises and brought here. He took no testimony, he was not interrogated, there are no charges against him,” added the attorney.
Arms Dealer’s Certificate
A police report states It is that officers found a firearms dealer’s certificate and an expired Nairobi County business permit at the premises.
Mr Lugwili was operating as a licensed firearms dealer until August 3, 2019 , when the Firearm Licensing Board (FLB) suspended its license over concerns about its dealership business.
In a letter dated August 3, 2019, FLB Chairman Charles Mukindia named an ongoing one Investigation into Mr. Lugwiri’s dealer business as the reason for the suspension.
On Wednesday, Mr. Mukindia confirmed to the Nation that the weapons sold in the office of Mr. Lugwili belonged to the kateg orie, in which the board allows local dealers to sell them in the country.
However, he has not disclosed the matter that led to the suspension.