BY PHOEBE WANJOHI.
The High Court has set aside warrants for the arrest of four city tycoons issued by a Nairobi court following a complaint by a rival trader.
In the ruling, Justice Daniel Ogembo at the same time set aside another order issued by Milimani senior principal magistrate Kenney Cheruiyot requiring DCI, Gigiri police station to take over investigations of the alleged threats from Parklands police station.
“I accordingly allow the applicant’s application dated 18.3.2021 and set aside the rulings and orders of the Hon. K. Cheruiyot, SPM, dated 18.2.2021 and 23.2.2021 as prayed in paragraph 3 of the application”, ruled the judge.
The judge said that the two orders issued on February 18, 2021 and February 2021, by the trial court were improper.
The four businessmen namely Ashok Rupshi Shaha, Meghji Patel, Nilesh Bhavsharu and Mukesh Rawal had moved to High Court seeking court orders to quash the orders for their arrest, saying they were improper.
The arrest followed a complaint by Pareshkumar Keshavji Dodhia, through his lawyer Kennedy Odour Wanyanga, who wanted the four businessmen arrested and charged with among other claims, attempted extortion, being in possession of narcotic drugs and being in possession of public stores.
Cheruiyot had issued arrest warrants and also directed DCI, Gigiri police station to take over investigations from Parklands police station where the complainant had reported the alleged threats and intimidation.
The complaint was made under (OB/33/29/07/2020) but Dodhia told the trial court that Parklands police station had declined to act on his complaints.
“As observed above the orders of the trial court of February 18, 2021 were improper and ought not to have been issued. The orders of February 23, 2021, being hinged on the orders of February 18, 2021 insofar as they relate to the execution of orders of 18/2/2021 must also fail. I so find,” the Judge ruled.
Justice Ogembo however, dismissed the assertion that the court acted as the investigator, prosecutor and judge.
The lower court had heard that the attempted extortion charges were occasioned by the four suspects had on several occasions jointly used a firearm, threatening to harm Dodhia.
Other intended charges against the four, the prosecution had said include extortion, and conspiracy to defeat justice and interfering with witnesses.
Hirji Ramji Patel alone has been charged with attempting to extort Sh10 million from Dodhia.
Patel is a senior operations manager of Astrol Aviation at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).
He has since also denied being in possession of items which include one walkie talkie make Baofeng, one Czeska pistol, two empty magazines for Czeska pistol, one Hytenra walkie Talkie, one firearm certificate for him Patel and walkie Talkies make Bestore, Bageng.