Barack Hussein Obama, the father of America’s president, had a life insurance cover that was never paid to the rightful beneficiaries upon his death, resulting to transfer of the funds to the Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority (UFAA).
The agency, which was established in 2013, is holding Sh55,933 that was due to the family of the then senior economic analyst at the Treasury following his death in a car accident in 1982.
If adjusted for inflation, the amount would be equivalent to Sh2 million today but that has not happened because insurers do not make such adjustments nor pay interest on policy funds.
Barack Obama Senior with the boy who would be American president. PHOTO | FILE
The UFAA, which holds unclaimed assets in trust for the rightful owners, has records showing that the Obama funds came to its custody last year from the defunct Kenya National Assurance Corporation (KNAC).
“I can confirm we are holding the amounts for Obama Senior — part of our responsibility is to reunify the assets with the rightful owners after authentication,” said UFAA’s chairman Vincent Kimosop.
Mr Obama had nominated his eldest son Roy Obama, also called Malik, and his youngest wife Jael Otieno as beneficiaries. Obama senior had four wives, two of whom he married while in the United States, and eight children.
Among the children is the American President Barack Obama, from his marriage with Ann Dunham, whom he met while studying at the University of Hawaii in the US.
News of the Obamas’ unclaimed assets comes as the US President prepares to visit his father’s country for an entrepreneurial meeting in two weeks’ time.
The UFAA was formed in 2013 to hold in trust cash held by companies for a defined period without any activity from the owner and has been taking over unclaimed assets since last year.
The list of assets classified as unclaimed includes bank accounts that have been dormant for more than five years, bankers cheques not cashed for two years and contents in safe deposit boxes unclaimed for more than two years.
Matured life insurance policies unclaimed for more than two years and shares whose dividends have not been collected for more than three years also qualify to be handed over to the agency.
The KNAC became the first company to submit money to the authority. The defunct government-owned corporation, which was put under receivership in 1996, handed over Sh348 million to the authority, becoming the first service provider to surrender such a large amount of money to the agency.
At the time of collapse it had claims estimated at Sh4.3 billion but it was able to trace and settle 90 per cent of the total.
It is not clear why the corporation was not able to pay Mr Obama’s beneficiaries given their prominence.