Supreme Court halts fraud case against Jirongo
The Supreme Court on Friday suspended a criminal case against former Lugari MP Cyrus Jirongo.
A five-judge Bench comprising Chief Justice David Maraga, Justices Mohammed Ibrahim, Smokin Wanjala and Jackton Ojwang declared that the criminal case stood halted until the application before them is heard and determined.
Through lawyer Danstan Omari, Jirongo told Nairobi Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi, that the apex court has stayed the proceedings before him pending further directions in a petition he has filed challenging his prosecution.
Jirongo was charged with defrauding businessman Sammy Kogo and his wife Antonette Boit of land. The businessman is demanding Sh50 million from him.
The former lawmaker is out on a cash bail of Sh200,000 after he was charged in August with several charges related to fraud and forgery. He was supposed to have been charged in 2016, but he moved to the High Court and obtained orders stopping his prosecution before the Chief Magistrate's court.
The order quashing the criminal case was issued by Justice George Odunga on January 11,2017.
Later, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) filed an appeal challenging the decision. Appellate judges Alnasir Visram, Otieno Odek and Wanjiru Karanja in their judgement dated July 19, this year set aside the decision of the High Court.
The judges directed that Jirongo should be charged with a criminal offence, saying Justice Odunga did not evaluate the affidavit evidence of the investigating officer that was before him.
"The judge ought to have considered the allegation of fraudulent acquisition and transfer of property held by businessman Sammy Kogo and his wife Antonette Boit," they said.
The appellate judges said that the court interfered with the proprietorial mandate of the DPP to make decisions on whether to charge or not charge an individual.
"The judge arrived at a conclusion without considering evidence on record," they ruled.
Jirongo is alleged to have forged signatures and documents relating to Soy Developers to secure an overdraft Sh50 million from Post Bank Credit limited.
The tittle deed used in the loan processing was that of a parcel of land owned Kobo and his wife Boit.
The DPP, through Frederick Ashimosi, had told Justice Odunga that the documents presented to Post Bank Credit Limited by Jirongo to secure a loan were forged and purported to have been signed by Kogo and his wife to transfer the suit land located at Nairobi’s Upper Hill to Jirongo.
The alleged crime took place in 1992.
The court heard that upon securing the loan, Jirongo defaulted on repayment leading the bank to sell the property through a public auction.
Ashimosi said the criminal case against Jirongo is not malicious on the part of the DPP, and fraud was established during the investigation.