Suspended lands cabinet secretary Charity Ngilu before the Nairobi Anti Corruption Commission court where she is accused obstructing justice by hindering the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) officers from collecting evidence regarding fraudulent transactions in respect to 134.4 acres of land in Karen.
BY SAM ALFAN.
The Lands suspended Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu has moved to the High court seeking orders to temporarily suspend a corruption case involving the Sh8 billion Karen land scandal.
Under a certificate of urgency, Ngilu and six other officials from the Ministry of Lands say that the EACC is not constitutionally, legally and properly constituted and accordingly lacks the legal and constitutional
mandate to conduct investigations and recommend prosecutions.
Ngilu was charged in court on June 19 for obstructing investigations into the Karen Land Saga.
Ngilu says to charge her and her co-accused who has tendered evidence before the Environmental and Land Court (ELC) is a clear abuse of the legal process calculated to intimidate, pre-empt and influence the outcome of the case.
Through Lawyer Kioko Kilukumi and Paul Muite, Ngilu argues that the land subject of the alleged offences is private land and not public land hence it does not fall within the jurisdiction of the EACC to investigate.
She says the land; the subject matter of the offences facing them is currently at the centre of a court dispute pending before the ELC between private persons claiming ownership of the land in Karen.
“My prosecution is a ploy meant to pre-empt and influence the outcome of the court dispute and to further intimidates and alter my co-accuser’s testimony before the Environment and Land court,” she says.
According to the court documents the Directorate of criminal investigations conducted investigations into the dispute surrounding the private land subject of both the court dispute pending before the ELC and the criminal charges facing the petitioners but did not find any wrongdoing on the part of the petitioners in relation to the land.
The documents state that the DPP was under a constitutional obligation to examine all the evidence before accepting the ridiculous recommendation of the EACC.
Suspended Lands Cabinet secretary Charity Ngilu and her seven co-accused were released on Ksh 3 million bond and Ksh 1 million each.
This followed after they failed to take plea when they appeared before Senior Principal Magistrate Lawrence Mugambi seeking to be charged separately.
Ngilu’s defence counsel of Kioko Kilukumi and Paul Muite want the court to separate the charge sheet and have each accused be charged separately.
Ngilu faces eight counts including obstructing justice by hindering the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) officers from collecting evidence regarding fraudulent transactions in respect to 134.4 acres of land in Karen.
Ngilu is accused of ordering officials from the Ministry of Land not to release any documents to the anti-corruption officers, thereby hindering investigations into the matter.
The court will, however, rule on whether Ngilu and her co-accused will be charged separately or jointly.
Her prosecution comes two days after the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Keriako Tobiko said there was sufficient evidence to charge her with obstruction of justice in a fraud case against top lands officials.