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Swazuri team on fraud charge to spend Easter in cell

Former National Land Commission chairman Muhammad Swazuri
Former National Land Commission chairman Muhammad Swazuri. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Former National Land Commission chairman Muhammad Swazuri and 10 people will spend Easter holiday in custody awaiting the determination of their bail application.

Prof Swazuri together former commissioner Emma Njogu, ex-chief executive Tom Aziz Chavangi, Dr Salome Munubi, director valuation and taxation and the commission secretary Lilian Kaverenge denied more than 20 counts including corruption, abuse of office, financial misconduct, fraudulent acquisition of public funds and money laundering.

Other suspects are Francis Mugo, the director of finance and administration at NLC, businessman Samuel Rugongo, Godfrey Muritu, Evahmary Wachera, Michael Oloo and advocate Catherine Wanjiru.

The charges against them state that they jointly conspired to commit corruption through fraudulent payment of Sh109 million for alleged compulsory acquisition of land from Tornado carriers on behalf of Kenya National Highways Authority.

Some 11 other suspects who were not in court were directed to appear before the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission next Tuesday or risk arrest. The court had been asked to issue warrants for their arrests but defence lawyers said there was no evidence that the EACC had summoned them.

Principal magistrate Lawrence Mugambi directed the accused persons to be held in custody until Tuesday next week when he will rule on their bail application.

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