Court frees Ngilu co-accused in Karen land case

Five people charged alongside former Lands Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu in the Sh8 billion Karen land case have been freed.

The case against Mrs Ngilu, now a Kitui governorship candidate, was terminated early in the year.

READ: Ngilu trial over Sh8bn Karen land terminated

The five are former National Social Security Fund managing trustee Josephat Konzolo, former senior land registrars Sarah Njuhi Mwenda, Pauline Wanjiku Gatimu and Mark Muigai Wanderi.

The other accused are Mr Macmillan Mutinda Mutiso and Mr James Mbaluka.

READ: Court suspends trial of seven in Karen land case

The Court of Appeal faulted President Uhuru Kenyatta for ordering their trial.

The court allowed the appeal by their lawyer Stephen Bundotich, saying the trial was an affront to their rights.

The judges added that the trial was irregular since the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission began investigations only after receiving orders from Mr Kenyatta during the State of the Nation address on March 26, 2015.

The President directed EACC to conclude investigations within 60 days and forward the file to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Soon after the address, Mrs Ngilu, Mr Michael Kamau (Transport), Mr Michael Chirchir (Energy), Mr Kazungu Kambi (Labour) and Mr Felix Koskey (Agriculture) were suspended from cabinet.

Ms Ngilu and Mr Kamau have since been cleared by the court.

The judges on Friday ruled that EACC recommended the prosecution of the five when it had no commissioners since its chairman Mumo Matemu had resigned.

During the address, Mr Kenyatta said 175 ministers, parastatal heads and civil servants were suspected of engaging in corrupt deals.

The court dismissed an appeal by EACC seeking to justify investigations against the five.

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