The Nairobi County ward representative, who allegedly extorted a Sh5.7 million bribe from the owner of Concord Hotel, never laid his hands on the money, a committee heard on Wednesday.
Parklands member of county assembly (MCA) Jayendra Malde was arrested in August by detectives of the Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission (EACC), on claims that he extorted a family accused of grabbing public land in Gigiri.
Mr Raheem Chatur, a city businessman and the director of Concord Hotel, told the Powers and Privileges committee that the MCA asked him for that amount to block the demolition of the hotel's gate, that is said to encroach on public land.
Mr Chatur added, however, "He did not receive the money from me. I only saw and heard about his arrest on social media. I also did not report him to the EACC," Mr Chatur told the committee.
"This was done by Irshad Sumra whom I reported the case to so he could take over."
He added that the only saw the 'treated' money on social media and that he also did not report the matter to police.
Mr Chatur said the county issued them with a notice to bring down the gate in June 2014 but that they went to court and obtained an order quashing the notice.
He explained to the city MCAs that he met Mr Malde at the Hindu Council after a woman told him he had wanted them to meet there.
The businessman said he got this information from a woman known as Priti, a tenant at Mr Chatur’s Diamond Plaza apartments.
He reported that at the meeting, he presented Mr Malde with all documents on the gate, including a county government approval and the court order, and that he walked out in protest when he asked for the money.
“He told me he did not care as he was an MCA and asked me for Sh5.7 million, saying my gate would be demolished [if I did not oblige]. The following day he also threatened the hotel's general manager,” he said.
Mr Chatur pointed out that he is just a witness in the case and that Mr Sumra (former Embakasi South member of parliament) is the complainant.
He noted that Mr Sumra, a former member of the Orange Democratic Movement, has been following up on the case as the group's legal adviser and consultant.
The businessman said it was Mr Sumra who advised him to record remarks by the ward representative if he asked for money. He said he had three recordings.
Mr Chatur said Mr Sumra was the one who reported the matter to police as he handles Concord's business issues.
"I wrote a witness statement but I have not bothered to follow up on the case. I do not know how it proceeded from that point,” he said.
The former legislator echoed Mr Chatur’s assertions saying he has been handling the case as he is busy with his business.
Mr Sumra added that the matter is now in the hands of the anti-graft agency.
“His (Mr Chatur's) role ended when he handed the case over to me as I am the legal adviser of the group. I am the one who set him up after asking him three times to stop pestering the investors for money,” he said.
He alleged, however, that Mr Malde said the Sh5.7 million was meant for the 19 members of the assembly Legal Affairs committee.
“Malde was using Priti to get the money and said it was the committee which wanted it,” he claimed.