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ELECTION 2022

How the Jimi Wanjigi-police drama played out in courts

NATIONAL
By Paul Ogemba and Grace Nganga | Jan 19th 2022 | 3 min read

Anti-Terrorism Police Unit escorts A Subaru carrying businessman Jimmy Wanjigi after his arrest at Kwacha Group offices in Westlands, Nairobi. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

It was a day of drama as Nairobi businessman Jimi Wanjigi and his wife were inaccessible to the police for more than 18 hours as lawyers battled in court to thwart his arrest.

Jimi was eventually arrested and driven to Kamukunji Police Station.

The drama played out in three places at Nairobi Magistrates Court, the High Court and Wanjigi's posh offices at Westlands, Nairobi, although the final act was enacted at Nairobi's Kamukunji Police station.

The High Court stopped his arrest a few hours after a Chief Magistrate allowed police to arrest and present him to court to face charges of allegedly faking a land title.

Justice Anthony Mrima issued the order to stop the arrest of Wanjigi and his wife Irene Nzisa until February 9 when a case they filed to challenge a decision by the Director of Criminal Investigations to charge them will be heard.

“Pending hearing of the application, an order is hereby issued restraining the DCI and the Director of Public Prosecution from instituting, arresting or continuing with any criminal charges against the petitioners concerning the land in dispute,” ruled Mrima.

Before the High Court order, Nairobi Chief Magistrate Bernard Ochoi had issued a warrant of arrest for Wanjigi and his wife for failing to turn up in court to answer to the four charges of fraudulent acquisition of a land title.

For more than 18 hours, Wanjigi the aspiring ODM presidential candidate was under siege at his Westlands offices in Nairobi.

It was not until at around 5 pm when police officers began breaking the door of his office where it was believed he hold up since Monday 9.30 pm.

Heavily armed police officers had on Monday night stormed the offices that host among others the official activities of Kwacha Group of Companies and his presidential campaign activities.

Jimi Wanjigi says his tribulations have to do with his falling out with former ally Raila Odinga, claims Raila dismisses as unfounded. [File, Standard]

Security was tight such that even Wanjigi's daughter and staff were denied entry to the premises as the search continued.

The search continued for the better part of yesterday with vehicles ferrying armed uniformed police officers moving in and out of the compound perhaps indicating a change of shift.

It was alleged that part of the reason for the raid was a fraudulent land acquisition that also involved the businessman's wife.

This was strongly denied by his father, the former Cabinet minister Maina Wanjigi, who termed the raid as unlawful.

"We are not terrorists. We are law-abiding citizens so that's not true," he said when he arrived to visit his son.

The businessman said the land in question, which is near his office, belongs to his wife who legally acquired it years ago.

He said his family had in 2018 made complaints about some individuals who wanted to take the land away from them.

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