NAIROBI, Kenya, May 2 – The ruling on an application seeking the review of the Sh12 million cash bail imposed on former National Land Commission (NLC) Chairman Muhammad Swazuri will be delivered on Thursday.
Swazuri who is in custody had filed a suit before Justice Mumbi Ngugi saying the amount was unreasonably high and should be revised downward.
Swazuri argued that the cash bail or alternative surety bond of Sh30 million imposed by Chief Magistrate Lawrence Mugambi was unjust, exorbitant and in contravention of Article 49 of the Constitution.
The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji however opposed the application saying the bail terms were reasonable.
While releasing the accused on bail, Mugambi said the security to be provided by each of them should be that which not only guarantees their attendance during trial, but also ensures that it does not erode public confidence in the administration of justice.
Other than Swazuri, former commissioner Emma Njogu, former NLC Chief Executive Officer Tom Aziz Chavangi, Salome Munubi, Director Valuation and Taxation Francis Mugo, the Director of Finance and Administration at NLC and lawyer Catherine Wanjiru Chege were also ordered to deposit cash bail of Sh12 million to secure their release.
Businessman Samuel Rugongo was ordered to deposit Sh6 million or bond of Sh15 million to secure his release, while Sostemah Ogero Taracha was ordered to deposit Sh3 million in court.
Lilian Savai Kaverenge, Evahmary Wachera and Michael Oloo were released on cash bail of Sh1.5 million.
They denied more than 20 counts including corruption, abuse of office, financial misconduct, fraudulent acquisition of public funds and money laundering.
They were charged with jointly conspiring to commit corruption through the fraudulent payment of Sh109 million for alleged compulsory acquisition of land from Tornado carriers on behalf of Kenya National Highways Authority (KenHA).
Other than corruption, Swazuri denied abuse of office charges.
He is also alleged to have approved a second valuation yet the compensation for the land for expansion of road near the Port of Mombasa had been set at Sh34.5 million.