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Ex-provincial Commisioner David Chelogoi denies Sh1.3 billion fraud case

At last, the long arm of the law has caught up with a former Nairobi deputy provincial Commissioner Davis Nathan Chelogoi who’s been charged with Sh 1.3 billion land fraud and remanded.

Chelogoi who had previously skipped court on five occasions, was produced behind bars on a warrant of arrest which has been in existence since December 22, 2023.

The former influential government official was charged alongside a former senior lands officer Andrew Aseri Kirungu They denied eight counts of forgery of a title deed of a parcel of land measuring 7.39 hectares, property of Ashok Epshi Shah and Hitenkumar Amritlal Raja.

Chelogoi’s lawyer Senior Counsel Tom Ojienda pleaded for his client to be freed on a reasonable bond saying,
“Your honor my client is a sickly person,” said Ojienda.

State prosecutor Sonia Njoki and the victims’ lawyer Suleiman Bashir opposed the bail application, however, suggesting his behavior portrays him otherwise,

“The accused herein has skipped court attendance five times,” said Njoki.

She added, “Every time there has been an excuse and reasons why the accused could not attend court to take the plea.”

Bashir took the court through the numerous occasions when the accused failed to attend court for processing,

“We are looking at someone who is a flight risk and dangerous to witnesses in this case,” he said.

He also asked the magistrate to disregard submissions by Ojienda that Chelogoi is a senior citizen who has served this country for 40 years and deserves to be treated with respect.

“The accused is a suitable candidate for detention in prison custody until the matter is determined,” said Bashir.

In response, Ojienda maintained that a bond is a constitutional right that the accused should enjoy.

In her short ruling, Milimani senior principal magistrate Dolphina Alego directed the accused to be remanded in custody until March 25 when she will determine whether or not he will be freed on bond.

She said, “Owing the gravity of this matter and the elaborate submission by defense and prosecution I need time to consider the application and then give a detailed ruling on March 25, 2024.”
An attempt by the defense lawyer to introduce the detention place of the accused was stopped by the magistrate saying once an accused person takes a plea, the status changes.

Chelogoi was charged with eight counts of forgery of a title deed, forcible detention of a parcel of land, and uttering of a forged title to DCI officers purporting it to be genuine signed by land registrar Pauline Achieng Pesa.

He was also charged with procuring the registration of the said land in his name on December 9, 2020, while Kirungu his co-accused helped him to register the land in his name which was prejudicial to the rights of the owner.

Kirungu was charged on December 22, 2023, and was released on bond of Sh1 million or alternative cash bail of Sh5 million.

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