SECTIONS

DPP refuses to withdraw charges against man accused of masquerading as magistrate

Victor Kiprono Ng'eno at the dock in Nakuru, October 2021. [Harun Wathari, Standard]

The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DPP) will not withdraw charges against a man accused of defrauding several people over Sh3.3 million by masquerading as a magistrate.

Despite Victor Kiprono agreeing to repay Sh1.5 million to Samuel Soi, one of the people he allegedly defrauded so as to settle the matter outside court, the prosecution told Principal Magistrate Isaac Orenge that its hand was tied.

According to Prosecutor Monica Mburu, Kiprono has other two related charges; impersonation and lying to the authority, a crime against the state.

“The state is the complainant in the charges of allegedly masquerading as a magistrate and lying to the police that his name was not Kiprono. He may settle the matter with Soi but not the state,” said Ms Mburu.

She said the only option left was for Kiprono to admit to his charges and enter a plea agreement with the prosecution.

“He can admit to his charges, pay the money he defrauded Mr Soi and mitigate for the court to consider him and maybe alter his original fine or punishment for the charges at its discretion,” she said.

Victor Kiprono is accused of impersonating a magistrate between March 15, 2018. [File, Standard]

Kiprono wanted the prosecution to withdraw his charges under Section 204 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC).

The section allows a complainant and the prosecution to withdraw the complaint before the court makes a final order.

The court has the discretion to either allow or reject the withdrawal by the complainant when satisfied there exist sufficient grounds to permit such a withdrawal.

On February 4, 2022, Kiprono informed the court he wanted to negotiate in the Sh1.6m fraud case and asked for time to negotiate, which the court granted.

“I am willing to return the money I defrauded Soi between 2018 and 2019,” he said.

Soi’s lawyer Koigi Mburu agreed and said his client had lost a lot of money and if it could be repaid in full, it would serve justice.

“My client knows it will be difficult for the accused person to repay him the money if he is in jail,” Koigi told the court.

Kiprono and his wife Mercy Chepkirui are accused of defrauding Soi Sh1,564,230 on dates between March 15, 2018, and December 31, 2019.

Victor Kiprono Ng'eno with his lawyer Kipkemboi Sirma (left) when appeared before Principal Magistrate Issac Orenge, October 2021. [Harun Wathari, Standard]

They allegedly pretended to be relatives to former CS Charles Keter and in a position to offer Soi a job at Kenya Pipeline Company in Nakuru.

“The accused persons defrauded Soi Sh100,000 on March 15, 2018, when Kiprono masqueraded as a magistrate and promised to expedite a civil case Soi had filed,” read the second count.

Kiprono is accused of impersonating a magistrate between March 15, 2018, and December 31, 2019, and handling Soi’s Civil Case 230 of 2007.

The couple is also accused of defrauding Jepngeno Kipkirui Sh150,000 between October 2018 and December 2019 by claiming they would help Kipkirui’s brother Kirui Walter get employed as a court clerk.

They allegedly obtained Sh65,000 from James Mburu, Sh140,000 from Nicholas Kipkorir and Sh500,000 from Jeremia Khatika between 2018 and 2019.

The case will be mentioned on April 14 for further directions.