High Court bars Linturi’s arrest in probe into 37 fraud-related charges


File image of Meru Senator Mithika Linturi. PHOTO| COURTESY
File image of Meru Senator Mithika Linturi. PHOTO| COURTESY

The High Court has temporarily barred the arrest of Meru Senator Linturi linked to a probe into 37 fraud-related criminal charges.

Also Read: Senator Linturi summoned by DCI after dramatic arrest

On Tuesday, Justice Weldon Korir barred police and the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) from arresting him.

Linturi, who was to be charged at the Milimani Law Court on Wednesday, had moved to court to challenge the move.

The latest court decision comes hot on the heels of his interrogated at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations headquarters on April 28.

There were claims that he had been arrested because of his stance on the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) Bill, allegations which resulted in a heated argument at the Senate.

This forced the Speaker to adjourn the Special Sitting which had been called to debate the Bill.

“This is very serious and because of the gravity of the matter, I am suspending the House for 30 minutes during which time I will use to find out what exactly has happened. And even after we find out, I want to direct the committee on National Security to get into this matter as a deterrent so that this does not happen to any other member,” said Speaker Kenneth Lusaka.

Senator Aaron Cheruiyot had told the Senate that he had received a call from Linturi informing him that he had been apprehended by DCI officers.

It later turned out that Linturi had been escorted to the DCI officers to record a statement with regards to 37 fraud-related charges.

Interior CS Fred Matiang’i dismissed the claims of arrest over BBI.

He told the Senate Security Committee that on November 1, 2018, one Emily Nkirote Buantai made a report to the DCI headquarters.

She alleged that she was a director of Atticon Limited together with Senator Mithika Linturi holding 50 and 1050 shares respectively.

Nkirote reportedly called for probe claiming that fraudsters had forged the Board of Directors’ minutes dated April 28, 2017 and removed them from the shareholding and appointed new directors.

Matiang’i said one Collins Kipchumba Ngetich — a Director of Barons Estates Limited — also filed a report to the DCI on November 15, 2018.

He alleged that sometime in June 2018, he discovered that the directors of Atticon Limited had fraudulently applied for renewal of an overdraft facility of Ksh. 100million without his consent.

Ngetich added that upon carrying out a search at the Companies Registry, he discovered that Barons Estates Limited was fraudulently removed from the shareholding of Atticon Limited using forged documents.

“Since the two complaints revolved around the same personalities and entities, they were consolidated and an inquiry file was opened. The investigations were conducted and all persons of interest were interviewed and 26 statements recorded, documents collected and those suspected to be fraudulent, 33 in number were subjected to forensic examination and results obtained,” Matiang’i told the committee.

“At the close of investigations, the file was submitted to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions on 17th June, 2019 with our recommendations and findings. On the 17th June 2020 the Office of Director Public Prosecution (ODPP) returned the file and called for further investigations to be done on various issues.”

The CS added that on October 28, 2020 the file was re-submitted to the ODPP, who again returned it on November 16, 2020 for further investigations.

The DCI once again re-submitted the file to the ODPP on January 28, 2021, who returned it on February 9 with consent to prosecute the suspects; Senator Linturi and Ms. Nkirote.

According to CS Matiang’i, the two face at least 37 counts of criminal charges among them: giving false information to a person employed in the Public Service; conspiracy to defraud; forgery; impersonation; obtaining credit by false pretence; fraudulently procuring the registration of a charge document; as well as intent to defraud.

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