Self-help group officials ordered to appear in court for forgery plea

Friday, February 12th, 2021 00:00 |
Patroba Awino (right) alongside co-accused Peter Gitau Muiruri and Peter Njoroge Kanika at Milimani Law Courts in a previous court appearance. Photo/PD/CHARLES MATHAI

Milimani Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi yesterday ordered four officials of the Sowesava self-help group to appear in court on March 2 to plead afresh to charges of forging land documents for a parcel of land in  Donholm, Nairobi, valued at Sh944 million belonging to an investment company.

The quartet: Patroba Awino, Peter Kanika, Peter Muiruri and Alexander Hoops were to plead to the charges afresh yesterday but failed to show up.

They are charged with using fake land ownership documents to lay claim to and lead land occupation gangs that have been fronting as self-help groups, with the intention of applying political pressure to be allotted the said land.

Fake allocation letters

The prosecution claims that the four have been using fake allocation letters/title documents that cannot be supported by any records at the Lands registry.

They were first charged in 2018 in separate suits, but the courts agreed with the prosecution and defence on the need to consolidate the cases as they were handling similar matters.

Lawyer Nyongesa who represents Awino told Magistrate Francis Andayi that his client was unable to attend court since he had lost his phone.

“The accused person is not before court. I called his brother who told me that Awino had travelled upcountry to attend to his sick wife. His brother said Awino had lost his phone,” she said

Lawyer representing two other accused persons Kanika and Muiruri told the court that the two had challenges logging into the virtual court.

“I seem to have lost my clients on this platform. I can get them on the phone and they have informed me that they are in Donholm,” he said.

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