APPLICATION CHALLENGED

Complainant rejects DPP bid to withdraw Sh150m fraud case

Says move not consistent with public interest, administration of justice and proper use the criminal legal process

In Summary
  • A magistrate's court ruled the matter should proceed to full trial
  • But DPP the "impugned ruling was made in total disregard of provisions of the Constitution'
Director of Public Prosecution Noordin Haji
Director of Public Prosecution Noordin Haji
Image: FILE

A city businessman has challenged an application by the Director of Public Prosecutions to drop charges against two people he accused of defrauding him of a Sh150 million property.

Francis Njeru argued the DPP had not demonstrated that the withdrawal of the case against ARJ Capital Ltd director Ahmed Jibril and his co-accused Farah Mohammed is “consistent with public interest, administration of justice and proper use the criminal legal process.”

In his application at the High Court, Njeru through Anyango Opiyo and Co Advocates said there is need to prevent and avoid abuse of the legal process.

He said the DPP and the accused persons have not challenged the charge sheet as being defective or given him reasons for the application as required.

The DPP moved to the High Court to challenge a ruling by the magistrate’s court that allowed the matter to proceed to full trial

“Generally, the impugned ruling was made in total disregard of provisions of Article 157 (10) of the Constitution and Section 6 of the Director of Public Prosecutions Act,” the DPP said.

Assistant DPP Gitonga Riungu asked the High Court to certify the matter as urgent.

He wants to be allowed to withdraw the case.

Jibril and Mohammed were charged with conspiracy to defraud Njeru of his land at the Nairobi Inland Container Depot on October 19, 2015. They were also charged with making a false title document and obtaining land registration by false pretence.

Jibril denied the charge before Milimani resident magistrate R. Aganyo on January 21, 2020 and was released on a Sh2 million bond. Njeru had sued China Road and Bridges Corporation for allegedly occupying the land illegally.

ARJ Capital Limited, owned by Jibril and Mohammed, then moved to court to be joined in the suit as interested parties. ARJ had leased the land to China Road and Bridges Corporation.

On March 4, 2020, the Milimani magistrate's court rejected an application by the DPP to terminate the case against the two.

Aganyo ruled that the criminal proceeding should proceed to full trial, saying “the ends of justice will be met by disallowing the application by the prosecution to withdraw the matter.”

“Accordingly, I hereby do not allow the application and do order that the matter shall proceed for hearing in the normal manner before this court to its conclusion,” Aganyo ruled.

The prosecution had made an application to withdraw the matter based on instructions from superiors after a meeting of the accused persons.

Aganyo said the complainant was not included in the meeting, neither was he informed of the same and noted that instructions of the superiors were not presented in court to make the application.

“Equally the reasons for the withdrawal were not clearly enumerated to demonstrate before the court how or why the decision was made,” Aganyo ruled.

 

Edited by P.O