Former Kayole Chief Alexander Hoops Shihemi has been charged with forgery and fraudulent acquisition of Sh944 million land in Donholm, Nairobi.
However, Shihemi failed to take plea after his lawyer told Milimani Chief Magistrate Martha Mutuku that they had obtained stay orders on criminal proceedings involving him.
The suspect informed the court that Justice James Makau had stayed the case pending the hearing and determination of the petition challenging his prosecution.
The suspect is alleged to be the mastermind of land grabbing cartels posing as self-help groups in Eastleigh area, Nairobi.
His three accomplices Patrobas Awino, Peter Gitau Muiruri and Peter Njoroge Kanika were also charged and remanded at Industrial Area Remand Prison.
According to investigations by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), the four have been using fake allocation letters and title deeds to conduct their deceit.
The DCI provided documents in court showing how they fraudulently prepared title deeds in attempt to grab land belonging to Gidjoy Investments Ltd.
The activities of the self-styled help groups were first exposed by the former National Land Commission chairman Mohammed Swazuri in a report to Buruburu OCPD in April 2018, when it disowned “NLC resolutions’’ purporting to award prime parcels of land to self-help groups in Nairobi.
NLC termed the letters which the two self-help groups used to claimed ownership of the land fake.
According to a court document seen by the Standard, the suspects use local villagers to invade undeveloped space without reference to who the genuine owners is and ask them to pose as needy squatters.
The villagers then form a ”self-help group” and demand that they be allocated the land by the former Nairobi City Council.
Justice Kossy Bor of the Environment and Land Court ruled that the land belonged to Sauti Sacco Society Limited which sold a block to Greenspan Developers Limited.
The court further ruled that the land was private and ceased to exist when it was subdivided into two blocks, noting that Alfajiri Self Help Group cannot lay claim to a private property it never owned.