Court removes conditions for NLC boss Swazuri to access office


Court removes conditions for NLC boss Swazuri to access office
NLC chairperson Mohammed Swazuri speaking during a past event. PHOTO/COURTESY

In Summary

  • Judge Hedwig Ong'udi said it would be impractical for Swazuri to be informing and writing letters to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) if he were to access his office everyday.
  • The judge further noted that investigations into the fraud case pending at the magistrate court are complete.

Embattled National Land Commission (NLC) Chairman Muhammad Swazuri got a reprieve on Thursday after the High Court set aside orders requiring him to write a letter before accessing his office.

Judge Hedwig Ong’udi said it would be impractical for Swazuri to be informing and writing letters to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) if he were to access his office everyday.

“The applicant has not been able to discharge his duties, I find it conflicting because EACC would be seen to be controlling the affairs of NLC yet both are independent bodies,”ruled Ongudi.

The judge further noted that investigations into the fraud case pending at the magistrate court are complete.

In allowing Swazuri back to his office, the judge directed the NLC chairman not to interfere with witnesses at his work place and with the documents that the prosecution intends to use in its case.

“I hereby set aside the order and direct the applicant not to interact with witnesses at his work place not to interfere with documents of the case, failure to comply will lead to automatic cancellation of his bond,” the judge directed.

“Securing of witness must be done under the law.”

Swazuri, Kenya Railways Corporation boss Atanas Maina and 10 others were charged with corruption related charges over alleged fraudulent compensation in the acquiring of land for the Standard Gauge Railway construction.

Also Read: Swazuri blames deputy for his arrest as he demands job back

The prosecution told the court that the accused conspired to pay more than Ksh.221 million as compensation for public land that was irregularly acquired.

They all denied the charges and are out on bail.

While granting Swazuri and his co-accused bail, the magistrate court ordered the State officers to stay away from their offices and only visit them in the company of a police officer.

The court also directed the accused persons to deposit their passports in court and not to leave the country without the court’s permission.

Swazuri, however, moved to the High Court seeking a review of his bond terms.

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Story By Dzuya Walter
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