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Equity Bank CEO James Mwangi moves to block arrest over a disputed land in Muthaiga

Equity Bank CEO James Mwangi moves to block arrest over a disputed land in Muthaiga

James
Mwangi, the CEO of Equity Bank,
has secured a court order preventing any possible investigation or arrest
related to a disputed multi-billion-shilling property in Nairobi’s affluent
Muthaiga estate.

In
addition to transferring the constitutional petition to the land court, which
is managing the Muthaiga land dispute, Justice Hedwig Ong’udi gave Mr. Mwangi a
temporary order preventing any arrest or questioning.

On
July 21, the CEO of Equity Bank filed a constitutional lawsuit in an effort to
prevent Noordin Haji, the director of public prosecutions, and George Kinoti,
the director of criminal investigations, from detaining or accusing him.

The
guidelines set forth by the Central
Bank of Kenya (CBK)
for determining the fitness of directors and senior
management may be put to the test if a senior bank executive already in office
is arrested.

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According
to documents submitted to the lands court, the property is being claimed by
both Mr. Mwangi and Mount Pleasant Director Anverali Amershi.

On
July 21, 2006, Mr. Karmali claims to have paid Sh130 million to acquire the
three-acre land from former Finance Minister Arthur Magugu and his wife,
Margaret Wairimu.

According
to reports, Mr. Mwangi and another respondent named Jane Wangui Mundia bought
the land for Sh306 million in 2013.

“Pending
mention on 28/07/22 before the ELC (Environment and Lands Court) to which this
matter is now transferred, a conservatory order is issued staying or suspending
investigations into, any arrest and prosecution by the respondents in relation
to the parcel of land namely, L.R. No.214/382 (formerly L.R Nos 214/20/1/2 and
214/214/20/1/1,” the judge directed.

Court
documents designate Mr. Mwangi and Ms. Mundia as petitioners and Mr. Haji and
Mr. Kinoti as respondents.

The
court order does not reveal details linked to Mr Mwangi’s possible prosecution,
but it makes reference to a separate land suit involving the Muthaiga property.

In
the suit, Mr Karmali moved to court in 2020 seeking eviction of Mr Mwangi from
the land terming him a trespasser.

The
businessman through his company, Mount Pleasant Ltd, claims to have purchased
the land from Moi-era Finance minister Magugu in July 2016.

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