Lawyer Alphonce Mutinda who Nairobi Anti-corruption court has issued warrant of arrest against two senior advocates charged with cemetery scandal in which the Nairobi Council lost Sh 283 million.
BY SAM ALFAN.
Nairobi Anti-corruption court has issued warrant of arrest against two senior advocates charged with cemetery scandal in which the Nairobi Council lost Sh 283 million.
Anti-Corruption Senior Principal Magistrate Lawrence Mugambi ordered the arrest of Alphonce Mutinda and Joseph Kojwado who failed to appear in court for the hearing of the fraud case.
The trial magistrate rejected a medical report presented to court indicating that lawyer Paul Onduso was unwell, Mr Mugambi said that the report does not explain ailment the the accused was suffering from
The court directed that the case be heard on 29 and 30 October 2015, the matter has never proceeded in the last five years.
The Ethics and Anti- Corruption Commission says that the suspects are, mainly from the City Council of Nairobi (NCC) and the Local Government Ministry face several corruption- related charges to the scandal that cost taxpayers millions of shillings.
Public funds were used to buy a 120-acre plot in Mavoko Township which cost Kenyan taxpayers Sh283 million, a price EACC said was far above the fair market value of land in similar location.
“The investigation established a well orchestrated fraud in which (NCC) was misled by its officers in collusion with others into buying a parcel of land unsuitable for the purpose for which it was intended” the report by the commission says.
The real price is said to have been Sh24 million and the balance distributed to 17 recipients, among them middlemen, civil servants, and lawyers.
Those charged with fraud include John Gakuo, the former Nairobi Town Clerk, Mary Ngethe, the director of Legal Affairs and two business persons Maina Chege and Mercy Kinyanjui.
Also in the list are lawyers Paul Onduso and Davies Odero Osiemo, a former PS William Mayaka, the chief Finance Officer at the Ministry of Local Government Herman Chavera and his counterpart Boniface Misera who is the director of procurement.
On the wake of the cemetery scandal retired President Mawi Kibaki had ordered the suspension of 13 top officials in the ministries of Local Government and Finance over corruption claims.
The decision to charge the suspects in court is the biggest number in a recent single scandal so far comes amid concerns that Kenya’s graft fighting credentials are faltering, tainting the country’s image as an investment destination.