Nine things you probably didn’t know about Paul Kobia
1. He once claimed to have paid Sh16 million in cash for two Range Rovers at a Nairobi car bazaar and said he was among the first Kenyans to import an Audi Q7.
2. He claims to be a businessman, politician, investor, lecturer and motivational speaker.
3. Though extremely wealthy, he does not have a university degree — something he claimed stopped him from vying for governor in 2013.
4. He claims to be the commander of an outfit known as the ‘Uhuru Big Boys Unit’ that supports the President. But Dennis Itumbi, the Director of Digital at State House, says: “Many people claim many things, it is not the duty of the President to follow up every claim.”
5. In November 2011, he was named in a UN report as a key suspect involved in the illegal smuggling of gold from Democratic Republic of Congo. In 2011, DRC President Joseph Kabila alleged Kobia was one of the people who stole 2.5 tonnes gold worth Sh8 billion from his country.
6. He lacks one finger. He maintains that he lost it in an shrapnel accident although there are claims it was chopped off by business rivals.
7. Although a Kenyan national, the UN report alleged he carried a false Congolese passport under the name Ilunga Ngoei (or Paul Ilunga). But he once told a newspaper that he was nicknamed Ilunga Ngoei or ‘Prezda’ (president) by his friends from DRC because of their respect for him.
8. On November 2, 2010, Kobia had been arrested and charged with pretending to sell 825kg of gold and obtaining $200,000 (Sh17.4 million) from a South African Dennis Ray Schmelzenbach but was later cleared.
9. His son Geoffrey Jeff Kobia made an unsuccessful bid for the Nairobi governorship in the March 4, 2013 elections.Kobia believes his son will vie in 2017.