Reprieve for LSK ex-chair as court stops his arrest over sale of Malili Ranch
High Court has temporary stopped the arrest and prosecution of former Law Society of Kenya (LSK) chairman Eric Kyalo Mutua in connection with the loss of Sh 533.8 million in the sale of the 5,000-acre Malili Ranch.
Justice Weldon Korir barred Director of Public Prosecution Noirdin Haji and Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti from arresting, detaining, charging or prosecuting Mutua over Malili Ranch transactions.
"There be a stay of proceedings in any criminal proceedings to be instituted against Mutua in relation to his role in the conveyance involving sale of L.R No. 9918/3(Malili Ranch) and proceeds of sale thereof, pending hearing of this application inter parties", ordered Korir.
This is after former law society of Kenya Eric Mutua filed a case under certificate of urgency seeking to stop DPP and DCI from charging charging of the said transactions.
Mutua was expected to be charged today morning before Milimani Anti-corruption court Chief Magistrate Douglas Ogoti with two counts forgery and stealing of Sh 533.8 million sale proceeds of 5000 acres land of the ranch but presented a High court order staying his prosecution.
The prosecution through Willy Momanyi sought for a mention date so as to consult his boss Noordin Haji over the new development in the case.
However Magistrate Ogoti directed the case to be mentioned on February 20 for further directions.
According to a charge sheet filed in court, Mutua is accused of fraud that on diverse dates between June 25,2009 and March 19,2010 at Nairobi and Machakos counties jointly with others before court stole sh 553,831,731.15 being sale proceeds of 5000 acres of land LR No. 9918/8 that was sold to the government of Kenya (Ministry of information and Communication) the property of Malili ranch limited.
Further, he is accused of making a document without authority that on November 28,2009 at Makueni, Machakos and Nairobi counties jointly with others before court with intent to defraud made an unlawful documnet to wit minutes of directors of malili Ranch limited namely replaing Peter Kanyi and Kilonzo Maweu as chariman and secretary respectively a fact he knew to be false.
In March 2017 four men David Ndolo Ngilai a director of Malili Ranch , James Kituku Munguti, Leornard Kyania Kitua and Julius Mbau Nzyuko, were charged for defrauding Malili Ranch Limited by fraudulently causing the property to be sold at Sh 1 billion to the Government of Kenya Ministry of Information and Communication without the shareholders’ resolution.
In the High Court while seeking to stop his prosecution the former LSK boss argued that his law firm acted for Malili Ranch limited in the transaction relating to the sale of it land to the government and following to some misguided complaints by some members of the company, investigations were undertaken by the DCI and Ethnics and Anti-Corruption commission EACC.
DPP Haji appointed senior counsel Paul Muite to evaluate the available evidence and made appropriate finding and recommendations.
Mutua claim that the DPP upheld Muite's findings to the effect that certain other persons be charged with offences and Mutua be made state witness and he previously testified as prosecution witness in criminal case involving the subject matter.
"The DPP cannot constitutionally resile from the decision it made unless circumstances change and new evidence is available and by purporting to return its own decision, DPP is in gross abuse of legal process and criminal justice system", say's Mutua.
He added that DPP decision has exposed him to double jeopardy and to the danger of self-incrimination thereby violating his right to fair hearing and he cannot be both and accused and a witness in the same subject matter.