ANOTHER LEGAL AID SUCCESS STORY AS KITUO ASSISTS PETER NDUNG’U NGARUIYA ACCESS JUSTICE
Peter Ndung’u Ngaruiya was facing a malicious case of preparation to commit a felony:- stealing under Section 308 (1) of the Penal Code and which if found guilty carries a minimum sentence of 7 years and a maximum of 14 years imprisonment. The genesis of the matter is his family land located at Naivasha bordering a land owned by a wealthy proprietor with the shared border being a river on which the neighbour decided to construct a water dam. The water dam infrastructure together with the dam itself occupied Peter’s family land but no consent or authority was sought by the neighbour. The wealthy neighbour went ahead to cut down trees from a man-made forest on Peter’s family land and fenced off the said land including a chunk of Peter’s family land. Consequently a dispute arose but efforts to resolve the matter through mechanisms available to the local administration through the Chief’s office who involved the Police failed as the neighbour made use of his resources to influence the outcome.
All along, the neighbour was intimidating the family through arbitrary arrests and detention of Peter on fictitious complaints. At one time, Peter was arrested and charged at a Naivasha Court for allegedly destroying the neighbour’s fence. Although he put up a defence to the fact that the land belonged to his family, the presiding magistrate heard nothing of that and since he had no legal representation; his defence was overruled and he was convicted and jailed for six months. Later on in 2014 this case came up as Engineer Criminal Case No. 171 of 2014 Republic v. Peter Ndung’u Ngaruiya and which according to Peter was just a set up whereof his close cousin was given Kshs 20,000/= to visit his home with a hammer and lure him into a trap and have him arrested and the hammer was to be used as an exhibit to show he was preparing to destroy and steal the neighbour’s chain link fence.
When Peter visited Kituo Cha Sheria offices, Simon Kimondolo took up the matter and instituted a land case at Nakuru-ELC Case No. 199 of 2014 still pending hearing. Counsel also had to intervene in the criminal case having seen the injustice being perpetrated by the wealthy neighbour against Peter and his family who would be considered poor with the sole intention of intimidating them to give up the land case.
After a long process with the case from July 2014, the Judgment was delivered on 31st March 2015 whereof Peter Ndung’u Ngaruiya, our client, was acquitted of the offense under Section 215 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
Kituo will pursue the land case with the hope that justice will be done and seen to be done and help resolve the long running dispute as well as restore this family’s dignity.
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