Sh1b fraud trial deferred after magistrate is moved
The hearing of a criminal case in which four officials of the Sowesava self-help group are charged with conspiracy to defraud Gidjoy Investment Limited of land worth around Sh1 billion will now have to wait longer after the Magistrate handling the case was transferred.
Chief Magistrate Wendy Micheni who has been presiding over the case was transferred to the Commercial division and the matter will now be handled by Chief Magistrate Lucas Onyina.
Onyina yesterday asked for the typed proceedings in the case that has been in court for four years and directed that the matter be heard on May 15.
The four charged with the five counts of Sh1 billion fraud are former Kayole Chief, Alexander Hoops, Patrobas Awino, the organising Secretary of the Sowesava Self-help Group, Peter Gitau and Peter Njoroge.
Five witnesses who include the Investigating officer, a Social service officer and a land registrar are yet to testify.
The 11.8 Acres disputed land is located in Donholm, Nairobi. The four were charged following complaints filed at DCI’s Land Fraud Investigations Unit in 2018 by two parties; Sowesava Self Help Group and Gidjoy Company Limited.
Upon investigations, detectives established that Gidjoy bought the land from Continental Ltd while Sowesava officials claimed that Continental Ltd surrendered the parcel to the Nairobi County Government, upon which they (Sowesava) were issued with an allotment letter and processed a title deed.
The self-help group had hence gone ahead to subdivide the parcel into 100 portions, which they were in the process of selling to unsuspecting members of the public when detectives stepped in.