Real estate firm boss in fraud case detained for more days
The founder of Thika-based Lesedi Developers, a real estate company at the centre of numerous land fraud accusations will remain behind bars for four more days after he failed to secure his release yesterday.
Geoffrey Kiragu, who appeared before Thika resident magistrate Oscar Wanyaga will remain under police custody until September 25, when the court will set bond terms or give directions in the matter.
“This matter is allocated to court number one which shall set bond terms and or give further directions in this matter on Monday September 25, 2023,” ruled Wanyaga.
Kiragu was charged that on diverse dates last year, while trading as Lesedi Developers Limited and with intent to defraud, he obtained money from various individuals by pretending he was in a position to sell them parcels of land.
In all the charges, Kiragu who has been embroiled in allegations of leaving potential land and homeowners vulnerable and with millions of shillings in bank loans to repay, pleaded not guilty.
He is accused of defrauding the complainants of more than Sh5 million by selling them land without proper documentation.
Among the complainants is Mark Wairi Kimani who alleges that Kiragu defrauded him of Sh749,000 between February and March last year after he failed to sell him plots number 66 and 331 excised from land parcel Thika Municipality Block 40/2414.
“On diverse dates between February 15, 2022 and March 25, 2022 at Thika within Kiambu County, while trading as Lesedi Developers Limited, with the intent to defraud, obtained Sh749,000 from Mark Wairi Kimani by falsely pretending that you were in a position to sell plots number 66 and 331 excised from land parcel Thika Municipality Block 40/2414, a fact you knew to be false,” read particulars of one among the 12 charges.
Yesterday, the court ordered that a comprehensive pre-bail report be availed before setting the bond terms and instructed the probation and after-care services department to prepare and present it before Court one on Monday.
Justice Wanyaga also directed the prosecution to supply all the witness statements and documentary evidence it will be relying on the matter.
Earlier, the accused person’s lawyers had applied for rejection of the charges leveled against Kiragu under section 89 (5) of the criminal procedure code arguing that the dispute before the court was civil in nature and that several claims had already been lodged at the Thika Small Claims Court.
The lawyers led by John Khaminwa and Daniel Gachau had told the court that there were no compelling reasons why their client should be denied bond as neither the prosecution nor the investigating officers had expressed the intention to oppose bond terms.
But in his ruling yesterday, Wanyaga admitted all the counts saying their particulars had revealed an offence under section 313 of the penal code
“The prayer for rejection of the charges under section 89 (5) of the criminal procedure code is thereby dismissed and all the counts are admitted as properly before the court. As to whether the prosecution has evidence or not to prove those charges, that is an issue to be determined after the prosecution has presented its evidence,” he ruled.