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DCI on the spot for charging dead man in Wanjigi land case

By Paul Ogemba | Jan 25th 2022 | 3 min read

Businessman Jimmi Wanjigi (right) at Milimani Law Courts, Nairobi. January 19, 2022. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

The Director of Criminal Investigations has been put on the spot for charging a dead man in the controversial land case involving businessman Jimi Wanjigi.

The revelations emerged after the man’s widow, Kaneez Noorani, filed a petition challenging the charges and obtained an order barring the DCI and the Director of Public Prosecutions from proceeding with the criminal case.

Justice Anthony Mrima issued the order stopping the prosecution from charging Noorani and her late husband Mohammed Hussein Noorani until the case is heard and determined.

Justice Mrima also stopped the prosecution of another businessman Mohammed Hassan Ali in relation to the controversial sale of the land in Westlands which is currently valued at Sh300 million.

“Pending the hearing and determination of this suit, an order is hereby issued restraining the DCI and the DPP from instituting, arresting, or preferring any criminal charges against the petitioners in relation to the disputed land,” ruled Mrima.

Noorani, her late husband, and Ali were among six people who had been listed in the charge sheet alongside Wanjigi, his wife Irene Nzisa, Himanshu Velji, Kairo Thuo, and John Njenga.

The widow, through lawyer John Swaka, told the court that the proposed charges were illegal and meant to humiliate her since she had nothing to do with the land’s transfer to Wanjigi’s company.

According to Swaka, Noorani and her late husband first got involved in the disputed land in 1999 when a company by the name Dhodhia Form Limited informed them they were selling the land.

Since the couple was involved in real estate, they partnered with one Mohammed Hassan Ali and bought the one-acre land at Sh33.6 million and registered it in the name of Horizon Hills Limited.

“In 2010, they decided to sell the property after which they agreed with Tyl Limited at a purchase price of Sh154 million. Upon completion of the purchase, they surrendered all the land’s title and documents and have never had anything to do with it ever since,” said Swaka.

Swaka argued that it was shocking that after 12 years since the couple sold and transferred the land, the widow and her late husband were being dragged to court to face charges meant to humiliate and embarrass them when there has never been any complaint of forging the registration title.

In the case of Hassan Ali, Swaka submitted that he is also an elderly man of over 75 years who also dealt with the land before 2010 when he partnered with the Noorani’s and relinquished his interest after it was sold in 2010.

“Being an elderly and sickly man, the threats to charge him have caused him untold sufferings and anxiety and worsened his already bad health. It is only fair that the intended prosecution is stopped until the matter is resolved,” said Swaka.

Noorani and Ali were among those listed to be charged, alongside Wanjigi, with several counts of fraud.

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