NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 6 – The Anti-Corruption Court has issued a warrant of arrest against two senior advocates charged over a cemetery scandal in which the Nairobi City Council (NCC) lost Sh283 million.
Senior Principal Magistrate Lawrence Mugambi on Thursday ordered the arrest of Alphonce Mutinda and Joseph Kojwado after they failed to appear in court for the hearing on Thursday.
Mugambi said the report did not explain the ailment the accused was suffering from.
The court directed that the case be heard on 29 and 30 October 2015.
The fraud case has stagnated for the last five years.
According to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), the suspects mainly from the NCC and the Local Government Ministry face several corruption charges that are linked to the scandal.
In a report, the EACC explained that public funds were used to buy a 120-acre plot in Mavoko Township which cost Sh283 million, a price EACC said was far above the fair market value of land in a similar location.
“The investigation established a well orchestrated fraud in which NCC was misled by its officers in collusion with others into buying a parcel of land unsuitable for the purpose for which it was intended,” the report by the commission said.
The real price is said to have been Sh24 million and the balance was distributed to 17 recipients, among them middlemen, civil servants, and lawyers.
Those charged with the fraud include John Gakuo, the former Nairobi Town Clerk, Mary Ngethe, the director of Legal Affairs and two business persons Maina Chege and Mercy Kinyanjui.
The list also has lawyers Paul Onduso and Davies Odero Osiemo, a former PS William Mayaka, the Chief Finance Officer at the Ministry of Local Government Herman Chavera and Boniface Misera.
Former President Mwai Kibaki had ordered for the suspension of 13 officials in the Local Government and Finance ministries following the cemetery scandal.
The Nairobi City Council blamed the scandal on lack of proper planning in management of the council affairs.