Home / Featured / Swazuri, co-accused to spend Easter in custody pending bail ruling on April 23rd

Swazuri, co-accused to spend Easter in custody pending bail ruling on April 23rd

Former chairman of the National Land Commission, Muhammad Swazuri and 10 others will spend the Easter holiday in police as they await the court to rule on their application for bail on Tuesday, April 23rd.

Chief Magistrate Lawrence Mugambi deferred their bail ruling over the Sh109.6 million irregular compensation for a parcel of land in Mombasa to Tuesday next week.

The 11 were arrested on Wednesday over irregular land compensation in Mombasa to construct the Southern Bypass and the Kipevu Terminal link road in October 2013.

Director of Public Prosecutions, Noordin Hajji, ordered their arrest after Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission completed investigations.

Those charged alongside Swazuri include suspended Chief Executive Officer Tom Chavangi, businessman Samuel Rugongo, Michael Onyango Oloo and his wife Lilian Keverenge who is a secretary at the commission.

Others are Godfrey Muritu, directors of Tornado Carriers Limited Nazi Matabkhan and Shakil Khan, Evahmary Wachera, Francis Kibaru, Martha Wairimu, John Mwangi, Philip Kileiya, Albert Lessonet, Mercy Wahu, Lorgis Logistics Ltd and Betha Wangithi.

Charges against them include conspiracy to commit and economic crime, abuse of office and financial misconduct.

Haji further wants them charged with unlawful acquisition of public property, fraudulent acquisition, dealing with suspect property and money laundering.

Other NLC officials being sought are former commissioner Emma Njogu, deputy director of valuation and taxation Joash Oindo, his wife Jane Wanjiku Gachigi and son Kevin, director of valuation and taxation Salome Munubi and her husband Sostaenah Ogero Taracha, director of finance Francis Mugo and lawyer Cathrene Wanjiru Chege.

The probe relates to irregular payment of compensation by NLC to Tornado Carriers Limited for compulsory acquisition for the land.

The Kenya National Highway Authority had requested NLC to acquire land for the construction of southern bypass and Kipevu New Highway Container Terminal link road in October 2013.

A valuation was undertaken which showed the value of the land in 2015 was KSh34.5 million and an award was made to Tornado Carriers Limited for the sum which they rejected forcing Swazuri to order valuation department to undertake a fresh valuation.

The team returned a staggering figure of Sh109.7 million for the same parcel of land in January 2017.

KeNHA remitted to NLC KSh109.7 million and the commission paid Tornado Carriers Limited KSh55.2 million and the advocate Sh54.5 million.

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