Hospital bars magistrate from charging ex-PC in Sh1.5B land scam

Magistrate blocked from charging former Nairobi Provincial Commissioner at city hospital. [Standard, File]

A court on Thursday, March 14, denied access to a city hospital to charge former Nairobi Provincial Commissioner (PC) Davis Nathan Chelogoi over alleged land fraud worth Sh1.5 billion.

 Milimani Senior Principal Magistrate Dolphina Alego, along with the court prosecutor, victim lawyers, and defense lawyers, had gone to the hospital where Chelogoi is reported to have been admitted.

 Upon arrival at the hospital, the magistrate and court officials were met by the hospital security team, who said that the court was in breach of their rules and protocols since they were unaware of their visit to the facility.

 "The rights of privacy against our clients have to be safeguarded, and in case of anything, the hospital management ought to have been notified first," said one security officer.

 Present at the hospital were lawyers Suleiman Bashir for the victims and Senior Counsel Tom Ojienda representing the former PC.

 On Tuesday, the magistrate had ordered that the former PC should take a plea wherever he is over the offences and indicated that her court would visit him.

 She made the orders after Chelogoi failed to appear in court to take a plea over the offence.

 Chelogoi is accused of allegedly defrauding two businessmen Ashok Rupshi Shah and Hitenkumar Amritlal Raja of prime land located in Lower Kabete, Nairobi.

 The land measures 7.39 hectares.

 "The court will visit and try him wherever he is on Thursday, March 14, 2024. The court will visit him either in the hospital as claimed by his defence lawyer or wherever he will be for the purpose of plea taking," said the magistrate.

 Chelogoi had on Tuesday for the third time failed to appear in court to take a plea as his lawyers led by Ojienda said that he was unwell and asked the court to defer his plea taking.

 His co-accused Andrew Aseri Kirungu, who is a deputy land registrar, has already been charged for the offence and released on a cash bail of Sh1.5 million.

 "I suspect that there's malice and delay tactics by Chelogoi. Our side is very much frustrated and wonders if the Judiciary has been rendered toothless by powerful cartels," said Bashir representing the victims.

 Last week drama unfolded when Lands Cabinet Secretary Alice Wahome visited the land as youths tried to block her exit after she accessed the land.