High Court stops Jirongo's trial in Sh50m land dispute

Thursday February 18 2016

Former Lugari MP Cyrus Jirongo during prayers for Deputy President William Ruto and journalist Joshua Sang on October 18, 2015. The High Court has temporarily halted the prosecution of Mr Jirongo in a fraud case. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Former Lugari MP Cyrus Jirongo during prayers for Deputy President William Ruto and journalist Joshua arap Sang on October 18, 2015. The High Court has temporarily halted the prosecution of Mr Jirongo in a fraud case. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By MAUREEN KAKAH
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The High Court on Wednesday stopped the prosecution of former Lugari MP Cyrus Jirongo in a case in which he is accused of giving false information linking Mr Jonathan Moi to a Sh50 million land fraud dispute.

Justice George Odunga agreed to temporarily stop the criminal case in which Mr Jirongo had been summoned by Chief Magistrate Daniel Ogembo to appear in court Thursday to be charged.

“I hereby issue an order halting the proceedings started in the said lower court pending the hearing and determination of this case; I will issue further directions on February 26,” Justice Odunga said.

Instead, Mr Jirongo, through lawyer James Orengo, sued Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko, Director of Criminal Investigations Ndegwa Muhoro, the National Police Service and the Milimani Chief Magistrate Court for issuing summons for him to be charged though investigations are still under way.

“The complainants and all the sued parties are using the criminal justice system to settle political scores and vilify him; this is an abuse of [the] court process and [is] oppressive,” Mr Orengo said.

Mr Jirongo was set to be charged with obtaining execution of security by false pretences, making a document without authority, uttering a false document and giving false information to a police officer.

BOIT FAMILY

Soy Developers Limited (SDL), Deposit Protection Fund Board, Mr Sammy Boit arap Kogo, Ms Antoinette Boit and ASL Limited have been listed as interested parties in the case.

The court was told that Mr Jirongo acquired a Sh20 million parcel of land 25 years ago in Nairobi’s Upper Hill registered in the name of SDL.

Mr Jirongo paid the Boits Sh10 million through Oraro & Rachier Advocates and they both remained shareholders and directors of the company.

The former Lugari MP was then granted the title deed and went ahead to charge the property to City Finance Bank to secure a Sh30 million loan.

After clearing the loan, he charged the property again to Postbank Credit for an advance of Sh50 million.

But since Postbank Credit had collapsed, the property was transferred to ASL limited in 2006.

According to Mr Jirongo, the Boits were proxies for Mr Jonathan Moi and since he had paid him Sh7 million on May 5, 1992, he ended up paying a total of Sh27 million instead of the original agreed sum of Sh20 million.

However, in 2005 DCI officers started investigations after the Boits claimed the loss of the property’s title deed because they had not transferred their shares and Mr Jirongo had allegedly not finished making payments.

The Boits claimed that they had lodged complaints to various entities, including the Banking Fraud Investigations Department.