Jimi Wanjigi freed without facing fraud charges

ODM Politician Jimi Wanjigi when he appeared at Milimani court, Nairobi, yesterday. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

Businessman Jimmy Wanjigi was yesterday freed without being charged.

This follows High Court orders barring the State from prosecuting him and his wife Irene Nzisa over a Sh400 million property in Westlands.

Milimani Court Magistrate Bernard Ochoi confirmed that the businessman had obtained orders from the High Court barring the State from either arresting or charging him over the contested property.

He noted that the Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji had been served with the orders.

The businessman and his wife moved to court seeking to block the State from charging them with fraud.

Although Justice Anthony Mrima ordered Haji and Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai not to arrest Wanjigi, he was still arrested by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) officers on Tuesday.

In their case, the two cite politics as the reason why they were arrested over the Sh400 million land dispute.

According to their lawyer Nelson Wanyonyi, the dispute between their company, Aureum Limited, and a city resident Cissy Kalunde Musembi on the ownership the prime property in Westlands is still before the Environment and Lands Court in Nairobi.

Aureum says it bought the shares of Horizon Hills Limited which owned the land and therefore the legitimate owner. On the other hand Kalunde says she bought the land from Horizon directors.   

Both Aureum and Musembi have titles from the Lands Ministry.

In the new case, Wanjigi and Nzisa say they came to learn that Kalunde was also claiming ownership of the property in 2018 when they wanted to sell it.

The judge heard that Wanjigi had lodged a complaint about the piece of property at Parklands Police Station and was issued with an OB number.

At the same time, Wanjigi and his wife aver that investigations into who owned the property had been done and other persons were supposed to be charged. 

Wanjigi and his wife say they have never been summoned to appear before an investigator nor the police over the ownership of 0.818-acre property located at the intersection of General Mathenge and Peponi roads.

The court is faced with a tale of two title deeds for the same property and both parties claim ownership documents were issued by the Lands ministry.

On one hand, Musembi claims she bought the land at Sh220 million from Horizon and it was transferred to her some time in 2018.

On the other hand, Aureum Limited argued her claim to the land was untenable as it secured the same in 2010 by acquiring shares in Horizon, the same company that allegedly sold the plot to Musembi.

“Upon noticing the existence of parallel titles over the property by the first defendant (Aureum), the plaintiff (Musembi) filed the suit to determine which title was valid and which needs to be revoked, in accordance with the court’s jurisdiction,” argued Musembi.

According to the firm, Musembi’s title must have been acquired illegally as the men who allegedly sold the contested land to her are allegedly not Horizon directors.

Nevertheless, Musembi claimed Horizon could not have transferred shares and properties to Aureum in 2004 as the firm was registered on November 24, 2006.

She claimed transfer documents submitted by the company to assert ownership are fake, as revenue stamps from the Ministry of Lands are dated December 5, 2004, which was a Sunday.