Kulei denies graft charges

January 28, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 28 – Former President Moi\’s aide Joshua Kulei has denied fraudulently obtaining Sh17.5 million from East African Gas Company.

He is accused of receiving two separate payments on claims that services had been rendered on behalf of the gas firm more than 10 years ago. The first count states that Mr Kulei falsely obtained Sh12 million from the gas company pretending that Ashar Limited had rendered engineering and foundation laying services on behalf of the gas company.

In the second count he is accused together with Sian Limited for allegedly jointly obtaining a further Sh5.9 million by falsely pretending that the firm had paid land rent, rates and assessment fees on behalf of the gas company.

Mr Kulei denied the charge before the anti corruption court and was freed on a Sh1 million cash bail.

In the same court, former Lands Commissioner Wilson Gachanja was charged over the irregular excision of land belonging to the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA). Mr Gachanja was jointly charged with former KAA Managing Director Peter Kipyegon Lagat and Prakash Bhundia.

They are accused of conspiring to defraud Kenya Pipeline Company Ltd by facilitating the transfer of 12 pieces of land in Mombasa which had been irregularly excised from the land belonging to KAA.

They were also charged with abuse of office.

The court heard that Mr Kipyegon  abused the authority of his office and directed the firm of Gordon Wanyumba and associates to survey the land belonging to KAA on which the Moi International Airport Mombasa is situated and to excise all plots that had allegedly been allocated  on February 28, 1996.

The action was said to be prejudicial to KAA because no such prior allocations had been done.

The Kenya Anti- Corruption Commission accuses Mr Gachanja of abusing his office by arbitrarily directing Peter Kangethe Kahuho, a  senior lands officer in Coast Province to issue letters of allotment in respect of alienated public land belonging to KAA on which the Moi International Airport is situated.

They denied the charges before chief magistrate Cecelia Githua and were released on Sh1 million cash bail.

The matter will be mentioned on February 18 for purposes of fixing hearing dates because Mr Bhundia and former KPC boss Ezekiel Komen were not in court.  The court was told that Mr Komen is out of the country.

The magistrate issued summons requiring the duo to appear in court and plead to the charges.  Sian Ltd and Ashar Ltd, plus the Gas Company Ltd were also expected to send their representatives.


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