Court acquits five businessmen in Ksh.800M Kiambu Ridgeways property dispute
The accused; politician George Jonathan Maara, John Peter Kamau, James Gichere Mburu, John Maina Waithera and Stephen Muiruri had been taken to court by one Isaac Maina Wandera who accused the of damaging his property.
Accordng to the chargesheet, on March 13, 2016 at Wonder joy Party World Limited Ridgeways in Nairobi, the accused "willfully and unlawfully damaged the perimeter wall, live fence, four (4) steel gates all valued at Ksh.20 Million, property of Wandire."
Politician Maara had been charged with an additional count of misuse of firearms for allegedly threatening to shoot Rimon Lientikei and Richard Mutisya who were guarding the premises.
In acquitting the accused, Magistrate Martha Mutuku ruled that the prosecution failed to provide enough proof that the destruction or damage was caused by the accused and that the destruction was willful and unlawful.
The accused, through Lawyer Mwenda Njagi and Kiraithe Wandugi, argued that the prosecution ought to prove the ownership of the property and whether the said property was destroyed or damaged.
“...for an offense of malicious damage to stand the Complainant must be the registered owner of the property alleged to be destroyed,” they argued.
“There were no receipts to show that the Complainant had purchased or owned the fence alleged to have been destroyed.”
The defence further submitted that the prosecution did not present the alleged tools of destruction including motor vehicle alleged to have pulled down the fence as well as other alleged tools of crime such as machetes.
An officer investigating malicious damage to the Ksh.20 million property belonging to Isaac Maina said all suspects were charged after clearance by the public prosecutor.