Jirongo escapes prosecution over Upper Hill land

Former Lugari legislator Cyrus Jirongo. PHOTO | FILE
Former Lugari legislator Cyrus Jirongo. PHOTO | FILE 

The High Court has stopped the prosecution of former Lugari legislator Cyrus Jirongo for alleged fraud involving a piece of land in Nairobi’s Upper Hill area.

Justice George Odunga on Wednesday ruled that the decision by police to open investigations into Mr Jirongo 24 years after he acquired the piece of land appears malicious hence cannot be allowed to stand.

The judge held that the 24- year delay in investigating Mr Jirongo will make it impossible to carry out a fair exercise.

He however declined to determine whether Mr Jirongo is guilty or innocent in the matter, arguing that his court is only tasked with determining whether institutions have followed due process in their acts and decisions.

The Office of the DPP in February last year recommended the prosecution of Mr Jirongo on charges of giving false information to the police, forging land documents and illegally using the land to secure a loan.

“Without making a finding as to the innocence of Mr Jirongo, it is my view and I so hold that in the circumstances of this case it would be unjust and contrary to the Constitution to prosecute Mr Jirongo for an offence which was allegedly committed nearly two-and- a-half decades ago, particularly when both the complainants and Mr Jirongo contend that the relevant transaction documents may have been lost or misplaced,” Justice Odunga ruled.

The CID claims Mr Jirongo lied to detectives about giving Sh7 million to Mr Jonathan Moi before using the Upper Hill land to secure a Sh50 million loan from collapsed Postbank Credit Limited.

Both Mr Boit and Mr Moi denied claims that the former president’s son received money from Mr Jirongo or that he is linked to Soy Developers Limited.

Mr Jirongo bought the land by acquiring a firm—Soy Developers Limited— from businessman Sammy Boit Kogo.

He claimed in his suit that Mr Kogo had admitted to being a proxy of former President Daniel Arap Moi who was the actual owner of Soy Developers Limited.

Justice Odunga argued that the suit appeared to be an attempt by the complainant, Mr Kogo, to re-acquire the disputed land from Mr Jirongo.