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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Rangwe MP risk jail term over land fraud

A by-election is looming in Rangwe constituency after a trader gave evidence in court on how the area legislator allegedly tampered and forged original land documents he was contracted to survey. Businessman Benson Ritho told the court that Rangwe MP made serious alterations to the 50-acre land, which he the subdivided and sold without the trader’s consent. The trader was giving evidence in a criminal case against Rangwe legislator George Oner who is facing fraud case and other counts of swindling Ritho his parcel of land. Ritho told principal magistrate Edda Agade that apart from land fraud, Oner never paid Kenya Revenue Authority because there was no documentation to back the payment.
Ritho told the court there were major fraudulent transfers of his property in Embakasi where the accused later sold more than 150 plots without his authority.  Rangwe MP is facing fraud case and three counts including making a false document. The MP who is out on a Sh100,000 bond came face to face with reality when the trader gave evidence on how Oner took advantage of his bad health at the time to defraud him his property. Ritho, while giving evidence said he commissioned George Ogola Oner through his company Geoner Systems Limited to undertake the subdivision where the legislator resorted to fraudulent transfers of some plots to unknown persons without his consent.
If convicted, the MP risks a jail term not exceeding five years something that would see the speaker of the national assembly JB Muturi declare his seat vacant paving way for a by-election. Oner who has been bragging that the case has no evidence was shocked to hear the trader giving tangible evidence, it is said. Oner and the businessman have been locked in a protracted court battle over the illegal subdivision and sale of the plots in Embakasi by the legislator.  Oner is a first termer in parliament on ODM. According to the prosecution, Oner’s fraud case is an outright theft that can only be compared to robbery with violence.
The wave of corruption in parliament has been the talk in town after the public accounts committee members were accused of receiving bribes to doctor some of their audit reports. Residents of Rangwe constituency are uncomfortable with an MP who is facing criminal charges and have appealed to Philip Okundi who lost Homabay senatorial seat to warm up to replace the MP whom they claim has even extended his fraud to the constituency development fund where his companies and those of his cronies are supplying air and launch inexistent projects.