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ELECTION 2022

Judge saves Wanjigi after magistrate orders arrest

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

Anti Terror Police Unit escort the vehicle carrying ODM Presidential candidate contender Jimi Wanjigi after his arrest at his offices in Kwacha house on January 18, 2022 [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

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

The drama played out at the Nairobi Magistrates Court, the High Court and Mr Wanjigi’s offices at Westlands, Nairobi, although the final act was enacted at Nairobi’s Kamukunji Police Station.

The High Court stopped the arrest of Wanjigi a few hours after a 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 stopping 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 in relation to 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 aspirant, was under siege at his Westlands offices in Nairobi.

It was not until 5pm when police officers begun breaking the door of his office.

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

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 police officers moving in and out of the compound perhaps indicating a change of shift.

Wanjigi’s father, former Cabinet minister Maina Wanjigi, who termed the raid unlawful. “We are not terrorists. We are law abiding citizens,” 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. According to court documents, the businessman and his wife between April 2010 and June 2018, alongside six other accused persons, conspired to commit a felony by forging the land registration title for a piece of land in Westlands and registered in the name of Horizon Hills Limited.

The others stated in the charge sheet filed in court are Himanshu Velji, Kannez Noorani, Mohammed Hussein Noorani, Mohammed Hussanali, Augustine Thuo and John Njenga.

The other counts state that the eight accused persons forged another land title deed under the name of Dhodhia Form Limited while purporting that it was a genuine title issued by former lands commissioner Wilson Gacanja.

“On June 21 2018 at Nairobi City Centre you jointly with intent to defraud obtained Sh56,000,000 from Kenroid Limited by falsely pretending that you were in a position to sell land IR No.65800 LR1870/11/200 measuring 0.3314 HA registered to Auream Limited,” read the charges.

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