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Economy

Muthama seeks to be enjoined in Shollei graft case

Machakos Senator Johnstone Muthama and former
Machakos Senator Johnstone Muthama and former Chief Registrar of the Judiciary Gladys Boss Shollei. PHOTOS | FILE |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

A fraud case facing former Judiciary chief registrar Gladys Boss Shollei took a new twist Tuesday when Machakos Senator Johnstone Muthama sought to be enjoined as an interested party.

Mrs Shollei is facing a corruption case over the procurement of a Sh310 million residential house for the Chief Justice.

The Judiciary bought the Runda property from Mr Muthama in April 2013 but it has remained vacant due to integrity issues.

The senator’s lawyer Tuesday interrupted court proceedings, arguing that a company associated with his client is alleged to have “received a benefit from Ms Shollei, as detailed in a charge sheet, while the true facts are that he supplied documentation to an investigating officer attesting otherwise... Our client believes that the dignity of the trial is at stake in these proceedings, the charge facing the first accused purports that he received a benefit while documents he gave to the investigating officer including bank statements showing the transfer of funds reveal something different,” Mr Harun Ndubi, for the senator, said.

Mr Ndubi was told to hold the application until the trial court reconvenes on July 18.

The Judiciary bought the Runda property at a time when it belonged to a bank which had taken its title deed in exchange of a multi-million shilling loan.

The Judiciary bought the residence even while its valuation report was incomplete and before accessing details like the status of the lease, charges on it and without viewing it. Ms Shollei has denied charges relating to the procurement of the residence.

She is charged with improperly conferring a benefit to Johnstone Nduya Muthama Holdings Limited from whom the palatial residence in Runda estate, Nairobi, was bought.

Ms Shollei is also charged with wilful failure to comply with the law on management of public funds as the Judiciary’s accounting officer and engaging in the project without prior planning.

She is charged alongside her former deputy Kakai Kissinger and five former members of the Judiciary’s tender committee who are accused of approving the payment.

Lawyers representing Ms Shollei in a separate abuse of office case, which was also mentioned yesterday, complained of being frustrated in their efforts to secure necessary documentation.

They said the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission and the Directorate of Public Prosecutions were yet to supply them with copies of tender documents relating to a contract for the building of courts in Runyenjes which gave rise to the second corruption case against the former Judiciary boss.

Proceedings were adjourned to July 1 to allow the parties to obtain the documents and present their grievances before Ms Liz Gacere, the presiding magistrate.

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