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Jirongo summoned in court to face charges in Sh50mn fraud case

The court was to rule on Monday whether Jirongo (pictured), who is alleged to have forged signatures and documents relating to Soy Developers Ltd to secure an overdraft of Sh50 million from Post Bank Credit Ltd, will face charges but the former lawmaker failed to appear in court/FILE – COURTESY

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 19 – Former Lugari lawmaker Cyrus Jirongo has been ordered to appear in court on Thursday after he skipped a ruling in a Sh50 million fraud case.

His lawyer, Danstun Omari, told Trial Magistrate Francis Andayi on Monday Jirongo had traveled to South Sudan and was unable to be the country in time.

Andayi who had deferred the decision on whether Jirongo should be charged to enable him read the decision of the Court Appeal that quashed the judgement of the superior which had stopped the prosecution said he did not find reason to believe a superior court had stayed proceedings in a subordinate court.

The court was to rule whether Jirongo, who is alleged to have forged signatures and documents relating to Soy Developers Ltd to secure an overdraft of Sh50 million from Post Bank Credit Ltd, will face charges.

The tittle deed was registered to a parcel of land owned by a Sammy Kogo and his wife Antonette Boit.

The prosecution submitted in court that forensic anabasis revealed signatures presented by Jirongo were not those of Kogo and Boit.

Assistant Director of Public Prosecution Fredrick Ashimosi had told the court when Jirongo moved to block his prosecution at the High Court that the former lawmaker had presented forged documents to the bank that were purportedly signed by Kogo and his wife.

Ashimosi said the prosecution Ashimoli had concluded that Kogo’s property was fraudulently acquired and that Jirongo used Kogo’s parcel of land to secure a Sh50 million loan having listed himself as a Director of Soy Developers Ltd.

Jirongo then defaulted on the payment forcing the bank to sale the parcel of land he’s provided as security.

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Kogo had told the court the suit land was allocated to him in 1989 and further that he entered a sale agreement with Jirongo in 1991. The politicians however only paid Sh10 million out of the agreed Sh20 million.

In his statement in 2015, Jirongo stated that he had paid Jonathan Moi, the late son of former President Daniel Moi, Sh7 million for the parcel, allegations Jonathan refuted.

Ashimosi said the accused failed to appear in court on Monday despite having been notified to do so.

Jirongo was initially to be charged in 2016, but he moved to the High Court and obtained orders stopping his prosecution before a Chief Magistrates Court.

The order quashing the criminal case was issued by Justice George Ondunga on January 11, 2017.

Then Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Keriako Tobiko, who was aggrieved with decision of the court at the time filed appeal.

Appellate judges – Justices Alnasir Visram, Otieno Odek and Wanjiru Karanja – in their judgement dated July 19, 2019 set aside the decision of the High Court.

The judges directed that Jirongo should be charged with a criminal offence.

“The judge (High Court) ought to have considered the allegation of fraudulent acquisition and transfer of property held by businessman Sammy Kogo and his wife Antonette Boit,” they observed in their judgement.

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They said that the court interfered with the prosecutorial mandate of the DPP to make decision to charge or not charge an individual.

“The judge (High Court) arrived at a conclusion without considering evidence on record,” the appellate judges said.

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