Kenya: Court Summons MP to Testify in Fraud Case Against Lawyers

18 October 2020

Chief Magistrate Martha Mutuku of the Milimani Commercial Court, who is trying four lawyers for alleged fraud and forgery, has summoned Borabu MP George Momanyi to testify in the case after his law firm was mentioned as having negotiated an out-of-court settlement of the case.

Mr Momanyi, who is a member of the Procedures and House Rules Committee in the National Assembly, is expected to appear in court on October 27 to testify against lawyers Violet Ayoga Oyanga, Jared Omwenga Mageto, Charles Nzioka Muthoka and Mercy Moragwa Mogusu.

The four have denied conspiring to defraud the Nairobi City County of Sh6,234,829 between April 2, 2015 and April 12, 2018.

Edna Nyaloti, a magistrate based at Milimani on Friday testified in the case and told the court how the four presented before her documents of consent between the Nairobi County and a private company for the payment .

The charges

Mercy Moragwa Mogusu has been separately charged with preventing the execution of a legal process by applying before Ms Nyaloti to settle the civil case between Kiango General Suppliers Limited and the county.

Ms Mogusu was also charged with giving false information to Chief Inspector Antony King'ori on April 30, 2018 that she was present in court when the consent to settle the case was entered into before Ms Nyaloti.

Testifying before Ms Mutuku, Mr Nyaloti said she was astounded by the manner in which the consent was entered into, as the government does not go into agreements for settling civil debts before evidence is made available.

"Nairobi County is a government and I wondered how its lawyer could agree to enter into a consent to pay Kiango Sh6,234,829 being the settlement of a civil case pitting them ," Ms Nyaloti told the court.

Ms Nyaloti said she later rescinded the consent but the money had already been paid out from the county's' account at the Cooperative Bank.

Consent issue

Cross-examined by Ms Oyanga on the procedure of the transaction between a garnishee holder and the parties, Ms Nyaloti said a consent had already been reached.

"I could not descend into the arena of the dispute. The parties had reached a consent and there was no time to go into matters of procedure.I recorded a consent as prayed by all the parties," the magistrate said in response to a question by the lawyer.

The magistrate stated it is an age-old procedure that the government does not enter into consents to settle civil disputes.

Ms Nyaloti shot down questions from the lawyers on procedure of payments before a consent is entered saying, "we are all lawyers here involved in this case and we all understand the law on garnishee holders I do need to lecture anybody. Let's save the precious time of the court."

The magistrate explained in great length how the Nairobi City County lost the money through conspiracy.

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