NLC officials seek to stop prosecution over Sh109m land deal

Former NLC Chairman Muhammad Swazuri. [File]

Two senior National Land Commission officials want their prosecution over conspiracy to steal Sh109 million stopped.

Director of Valuation Salome Munubi and her deputy Joash Oindo made the application as their co-accused in the land compensation scandal are set to know their fate today on whether they will be released on bail after spending the long Easter weekend behind bars.

They filed the application through lawyer Duncan O’kubasu last Thursday, arguing that the dispute over compulsory acquisition of the land for road expansion does not warrant criminal prosecution since there are three other ongoing cases to determine validity of the compensation.

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According to the lawyer, the criminal case is intended to unduly influence the outcome of the three cases pending before the High Court – one in Mombasa High Court and two before the High Court in Nairobi.

He argued that all the three cases revolve around the legality of the Sh109 million paid by NLC to acquire the land from Tornado Carriers Limited for the construction of Mombasa’s southern bypass and Kipevu New Highway Container Terminal link roads in October 2013.

Mr O’kubasu submitted that the charges were fabricated in a bid to hoodwink the public that the NLC officials are corrupt when there is no evidence to support the allegations.

Ms Munubi and Mr Oindi were among 11 people charged last week with conspiracy to defraud public funds by inflating the cost of the land from Sh34 million to Sh109 million.

Also charged are former NLC Chairman Muhammad Swazuri, CEO Tom Chavangi, NLC Commissioner Emma Muthoni, Director of Finance Francis Karimi Mugo, lawyer Catherine Wanjiru, Samuel Muturi and Evahmary Gathondu.

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Others are Munubi’s husband Sostenah Ogero, NLC Secretary for Valuation Lilian Keverenge and her husband George Onyango Oloo.

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National Land CommissionHigh CourtNLC Chairman Muhammad Swazuri