NLC boss woes deepen over Sh1 million bribe allegation

Swazuri’s lawyer Tom Ojienda, argued that unless Parliament is barred, his client stands to suffer outright violations of his constitutional rights

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Swazuri has now taken a new twist after moving to court to restrain the National Assembly Lands Committee from hearing a petition seeking his removal over a Sh1 million bribery claim.

In a petition, certified as urgent, Swazuri wants the High Court to issue orders stopping Wednesday’s (today) decision by the Departmental Committee on Lands from convening and proceeding to hear the petition pending determination of his case.

Earlier, former scribe Mugo Njeru petitioned the committee to investigate criminal allegations of corruption and bribery against the NLC top brass.

Njeru and his wife Edith Wairimu in their suit accused Swazuri of demanding a Sh1.2 million bribe to be compensated for their land which the government acquired for the Standard Gauge Railway project.

The former journalist’s alleged 80-acre piece of land is located off Mombasa Road in Nairobi and the committee was told that a surveyor from the Lands Ministry mapped out the disputed land and wrote a report confirming that he was the owner.

Swazuri on his part, however, insists that the parliamentary committee does not have power to investigate allegations of bribery and corruption as the mandate exclusively belongs to the police and Ethics and Anti corruption Commission (EACC).

“By purporting to do so, the committee is acting in excess of jurisdiction by usurping the exclusive roles of the police and EACC,” Swazuri said.

Swazuri’s lawyer Tom Ojienda, argued that unless Parliament is barred, his client stands to suffer outright violations of his constitutional rights to fair administrative action, right to a fair hearing, protection against discrimination and right to human dignity amongst others.

He added that the jurisdiction under focus is exclusively a function of the Environmental and Land Division Court.

It is alleged that on December 19 last year, Swazuri was paid Sh1 million in cash by Njeru through his conduit Badhili Elijah as a bribe.

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