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Ex-magistrate has a case to answer in Sh2.3b Miwani land fraud

NEWS
By Harold Odhiambo | May 20th 2019 | 2 min read
By Harold Odhiambo | May 20th 2019
NEWS
Deserted Miwani sugar company in Kisumu County

KISUMU, KENYA: Two suspects implicated in an alleged fraudulent transfer of Sh2.3 billion land belonging to Miwani Sugar Company have a case to answer.

This is after Kisumu Chief Magistrate Julius Ngar Ngar ordered that former magistrate Abdulkadir Elkindy and Mr. Moses Osewe, a former revenue officer in the defunct Nyando County Council, to go through a defense hearing.

Four other suspects who were charged alongside the duo in the protracted legal battle, which started nine years ago, were however acquitted by the magistrate who ruled that the prosecution had failed to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt.

In the suit, the duo faces various counts with Elkindy also accused of abuse of office while Osewe accused of wilfully failing to collect land rates in the land in question.

The other suspects also faced charges of conspiring to defraud Miwani Sugar Company its parcel of land valued at Sh2.3 billion.

They included Sukhwinder Singh Chathe, the chairman of Kibos Sugar, Ian Gakoi Mawa, Odongo Philips Katiba, Kefa Lumumba Atunga,Epainto Apono Okoyo, and Crossley holdings.

One other suspect who was implicated in the crime however passed on before the case could be concluded.

In his ruling, however, Ngar Ngar said that the prosecution failed to prove that there was a linkage between the suspects and noted that only two suspects had a case to answer.

“From my findings, the evidence on record is not capable of sustaining conviction even if the accused persons opted not to offer any defense or explanation,” said the magistrate.

Some 30 witnesses testified in the case with a former Judge claiming that her signature was forged to facilitate the alleged illegal transfer.

“Several witnesses who were expected to testify in the case also died before they could take the witness stand while one other suspect also died before the case was concluded,” said Ngar Ngar.

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