Two officials of a women’s group will cool their heels in police custody after they were detained for questioning over a Sh300 million fraud.
Mary Ndunge Mutuku and Mary Wanjiku Ndung’u of Mitumba Women Group are being accused of obtaining millions of shillings from unsuspecting city residents under false pretence of selling them houses at an estate they developed near Wilson Airport, within Langata area, Nairobi.
Ordering for their incarceration for two days, Milimani senior principal magistrate Bernard Ochoi said “police need humble time to interrogate the two suspects and record statements from witnesses.”
Mr Ochoi sais police want to uncover the true identity of the 1st Respondent (Ndunge) who is said to register cellphone lines and Mpesa accounts using identity cards belonging to other people.
“Ndunge’s current Mpesa account is registered using an identity card for one Victoria Mwongeli Mulu,” said Mr Ochoi.
The magistrate added police need time to piece together all the evidence regarding telephone conversations and bank transactions.
Her current mobile phone number is unknown and does not exist.
Mr Ochoi said police are yet to record statements from a host of witnesses who have reported they paid money to the suspects and, up to now, they have not been allocated the houses they paid for.
Asking to have Ndunge and Wanjiru detained for ten days, Chief Inspector Eunice Njue, the investigating officer, told Mr Ochoi she and her co-investigators want to travel out of Nairobi to interrogate and also recover documents from the suspects’ houses.
“That this court be pleased to extend for 10 days the custodial orders at Central Police Stations to enable investigations to be completed before the two suspects are charged with obtaining money through false pretences,”Insp Njue urged
She said she was not able to complete investigations in the two days earlier granted by the Court on December 14,2022.
“I have to peruse hundreds of bank statements from 20 accounts being operated by Mitumba Women Self-Help Group and thousands of Mpesa transactions,” prayed Insp Njue.
Prosecutor James Gachoka buttressed Insp Njue position saying police have managed to recoup voluminous documents from the house of Ndunge at Ngara (Nairobi) and Muua Hills in Machakos County.
Mr Gachoka also said workers of the suspect have been interviewed and other officials of Mitumba Women Self-Help Group are yet to be interrogated.
“Police need to conduct an identification parade for the complainants to identify the suspects before charges are preferred,” said Mr Gachoka.
But a defence lawyer, Robert Aswani, opposed the fresh plea to detain the suspect for 10 more days “nothing new has come forward.”
Mr Aswani said police have no evidence to accuse the suspects of any wrong doing and the only “right thing is to free the accused.”
The defence lawyer said police are bent to defeating the December 14, 2022 court order that they conclude the investigations within two days.
“Police are just engaged in a fishing expedition they have no case against these officials of the self-help group,” submitted Aswani.
In his ruling Mr Ochoi reduced the 10 days sought to detain Ndunge and Wanjiku to two.
The case will be mentioned on December 20,2022 for further directions.
There’s no story that cannot be told. We cover the stories that others don’t want to be told, we bring you all the news you need. If you have tips, exposes or any story you need to be told bluntly and all queries write to us [email protected] also find us on Telegram