Two officials of a women’s group accused of defrauding Kenyans over Sh 300 million in a housing project were Tuesday charged.
Mary Ndunge Mutuku and Mary Wanjiku Ndung’u who pleaded not guilty to 16 counts of forgery and obtaining money by false pretenses were detained at Capitol Hill Police Station pending the production of an affidavit by the prosecution to oppose their release on bail.
They appeared before magistrate Wendy Micheni of Milimani Law Courts where they were charged with over Sh300 million in fraud.
They were charged that in the period between the year 2015 and 2022 in Nairobi County with others not before the court, conspired to defraud Michael Kariuki and Salome Wanjiru Kariuki a sum of Sh87.7 million by falsely pretending that they were in a position to sell them houses at West Park Police estate knowing it was untrue.
They faced 15 more counts where they are accused of defrauding different people by forging documents and uttering them to the suspects claiming that they are from the Ministry of Labour Social Security and services.
The two are being accused of obtaining millions of shillings from unsuspecting city residents under false pretenses of selling them houses at an estate they developed near Wilson Airport, within the Langata area, Nairobi.
Through their lawyers Robert Aswani and Geoffrey Omenke, the accused pleaded with the court to be released on favorable bond terms saying that they are not a flight risk because they have a fixed place of abode.
The defense said that the accused were arrested before the investigations were concluded which is a violation of their rights.
Aswani who is acting for Ndunge said the dispute emanates from the police and the said women’s group and the two entities have been involved in a long-term legal battle.
He said the colossal amount mentioned should not be considered in granting bail because the offenses are just mere allegations without facts.
Omenke who is acting for the second accused requested for her release on bail saying that she is a family woman and a Kenyan citizen.
“Accused should be released on favorable bond terms because the charges tabled against them are billable, unless there are compelling reasons to detain them, they should be released, no facts have been put by the prosecution to deny accused bail,” he added.
Omenke bail is just a commitment to ensure that the accused attend the trial but should not be used against them.
He added that the prosecution was in a hurry to charge his client without completion of investigations.
“The normal legal procedure is to investigate a suspect first before arresting them but in this case, the accused were arrested before they were investigated, “ added Omenke.
He said their rights have been infringed and they are family women with kids.
Omenke said that the prosecution did not indicate whether the second accused is a flight risk.
The prosecution on the other said they intend to oppose bail and will table their formal affidavit Wednesday, December 21.