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DPP under pressure to charge tycoon

By Joackim Bwana | January 22nd 2021 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

Activist, Caleb Ngwena [left] when he presented complaint to Shanzu law court principal, Yusuf Shikanda. He says Director of Public Prosecution and police officers have failed to arrest the accused, Aman Kurji. [Omondi Onyango, Standard]

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODDP) has been accused of laxity in prosecuting a Mombasa tycoon over the demolition of a wall two years ago.

According to an application filed in court by Genesis for Human Rights Commission (GHRC) Executive Director Caleb Ng’wena, the ODDP failed to prosecute Aman Kurji despite ordering his arrest.

GHRC claim that Mr Kurji, a business mogul with interests in oil and property industries, was mentioned by four employees who alleged he financed the demolition of the wall in Bamburi.

The wall, which is adjacent to a petrol station at Bamburi Mwisho, belongs to Abdulahi Omar Said. The two businessmen have a boundary dispute pending before the High Court.

The suit documents say the wall, estimated to be worth Sh1.6 million, was demolished on November 15, 2018.

Kurji’s side said the wall caved in due to heavy rains and that he had nothing to do with its collapse.

State counsel Tamima Swaleh yesterday sought more time to get clarification from her bosses on how to proceed with the matter.

Recommended arrest

Last year, Ms Swaleh also sought more time to follow up with the police and establish why Kurji has never been arrested.

“We can’t say there has been a failure to act on our part. If Kurji has not been arrested, we will follow up on the matter with the police and establish why he was never arrested,” said Swaleh.

Ng’wena yesterday told Principal Magistrate Yusuf Shikanda that Kurji was yet to be arrested and prosecuted despite the DPP recommending his arrest twice in 2018.

In December last year, Ng’wena applied to have the court issue summons and warrant of arrest against Kurji because the DPP had failed to prefer charges against him. 

“What instructions are they going to get from their bosses because the letters ordering the OCS Bamburi to arrest the suspect are self-explanatory? Saying they are going to do more investigation is a lie,” said Ng’wena.

Ngw’ena was referring to letters written by the ODPP to the police ordering the arrest of Kurji for allegedly participating in the demolition of the wall.

The activist had filed an application in court seeking to institute private prosecution against Kurji.

He accused the ODPP and police of laxity and failure to arrest and charge Kurji.


GHRC Caleb Ng’wena Aman Kurji
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