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Former PC Davis Chelogoi ordered in court in land fraud deal

A Nairobi court has ordered a former provincial commissioner accused of forging documents with intent to fraudulently acquire a parcel of land in Nairobi valued at Sh1.3 billion to appear before it to plead to the charges filed against him by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

This is after Milimani senior principal magistrate Dolphina Alego declined an application by Senior Counsel Prof Tom Ojienda to give Mr Davis Nathan Chelogoi more time to recuperate before he pleads to the charges.

“The court will try the accused wherever he is on March 14, 2024,” ruled Ms Alego.

A warrant for the accused’s arrest has been pending for the past year since he failed to appear in court for a plea taking over an alleged conspiracy to defraud Mr Ashok Rupshi Shah and Hitenkumar Amritlal Raja of an 18-acre parcel of land on Lower Kabete Road, Nairobi.

A co-accused- Andrew Kirungu, a senior official at the Ministry of Lands, was released after paying cash bail of Sh1.5 million after denying the charges.

Mr Kirungu, an assistant director land administrator, and Mr Chelogoi are accused of procuring the registration of the contested land, by falsely pretending that it belongs to the former administrator.

The charge sheet stated that they committed the offence on diverse dates between December 9, 2020, and June 4, 2021.

Mr Kirungu was also accused of causing the fraudulent registration of the certificate of Title L.R. No. 18485 1.R. No.232908 in abuse of authority.

Mr Chelogoi has been fighting over the ownership of the land since 2009 but lost the fight when the Environment and Land Court ruled that it was grabbed by late businessman Jacob Juma in 2008.

The court ruled in 2023 that Mr Juma, who died in May 2016, obtained documents to the land fraudulently.

Justice Loise Komingoi then ordered the cancellation of the face documents and directed Juma’s widow – Ms Miriam Wairimu to compensate Mr Shah and Kumar Sh50 million as damages for trespass and for denying the real owners the right to enjoy their property.

Mr Chelogoi later sought to quash the decision arguing that he was condemned unheard but his application to reopen the case was rejected.

He was, however, allowed to join the case to file an appeal.

Mr Shah and Kumar moved to court in 2009 arguing that Mr Juma fraudulently took over the land, fenced it, and built security houses to deny them access.

The former PC claimed that he was allocated the land by former President Daniel Moi in 1995.

But investigations later revealed that Mr Kirungu assisted Mr Chelogoi procure the registration fraudulently.

Following the decision last year, Mr Ashok says he later discovered that Mr Chelogoi had filed a separate claim over the land using fraudulent documents.

Through his lawyers, Macharia Mwangi & Njeru Advocates, Mr Ashok said he applied for the reconstruction of the records at the Ministry of Lands only to discover that the records have been interfered with by unscrupulous persons.

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