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Pilot charged over Sh250m Karen land fraud scheme, freed on bond

Friday July 10 2020
Pilot

Eric Ogola Lugalia at the Milimani Law Courts on July 10, 2020, when he was charged with 11 counts of crimes committed to acquire a Sh250 million piece of land in Karen, Nairobi. PHOTO | RICHARD MUNGUTI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By RICHARD MUNGUTI

A man was charged Friday with forging a title deed and signatures of parties including the late Jonathan Kipkemboi Toroitich, in a bid to acquire a Sh250 million piece of land in Karen, Nairobi.

According to police documents, Eric Ogola Lugalia is a 39-year-old pilot. 

Mr Lugalia denied 11 counts of making a false document, forgery and uttering false documents to a police officer at the land fraud department of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI).

He was charged with making a false document with intent to defraud Stuart Gerald Cullinan Herd of a parcel IR No1160/308 (Original No1160/248/2), situated along Bogani Road and measuring 1.970 hectares.

He was also charged with making a false certificate of title IR No.99256 LR No.1160/308 (Original No.1160/248/2) dated August 2, 2005.

Mr Lugalia was further accused of purporting that the certificate was a genuine one issued by the Ministry of Lands, a fact he knew to be false.

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He denied the charges before Milimani Principal Magistrate Muthoni Nzibe.

FORGED SIGNATURES

Mr Lugalia allegedly forged the signatures of three land registrars - Fredric Indoko Lubullelah, George Gichimu Gichihi and Peter Mburu Ng’ang’a, all based at the Ardhi House, Nairobi.

The court also heard that he forged the signature of the late Mr Toroitich, son of former President Daniel arap Moi, in a sale agreement dated January 15, 2015.

Another charge stated that he forged Mr Toroitich’s signature in the instrument of transfer of the said parcel of land dated March 12, 2015.

He is alleged to have purported it was a genuine transfer document attested by Sonye J. Ondari, an advocate of the High Court.

On July 1,  the accused is said to have presented the forged certificate, sale agreement and the transfer document to Sergeant Lawson Shuma at the DCI headquarters along Kiambu Road.

BAIL APPLICATION

Mr Lugalia’s two lawyers applied for his reasonable terms citing a pending civil case at the High Court over the ownership of the land.

“This case was commenced while there is a pending case at the superior court to determine the true owner since both Lugalia and Herd are claiming to be the bonafide owner,” the magistrate said.

State prosecutor Winnie Moraa did not oppose application.

Ms Nzibe granted Mr Lugalia release on aSh300,000 bond with one surety or Sh150,000 cash bail.

The magistrate rejected a bid to bar the media from reporting his arraignment.

The case will be mentioned on July 21.

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