A Canadian missionary was on Wednesday, May 24, 2023, charged before a Nairobi court with defrauding two traders of their land worth Ksh60 million located in Ngong, Kajiado County.
Sheppard Nelson Jason, who runs a children's home in Ngong, appeared before Milimani Chief Magistrate Lucas Onyina and denied the seven fraud charges leveled against him by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP).
Jason, who is in Kenya as a missionary, is alleged to have defrauded the complainants namely Jeremiah Muuya Sailoji and Rhoda Ann Baxter of their 6.15 hectares of land located in Kajiado by pretending that they had transferred the same to him.
His lawyer urged the court to release the accused person on reasonable bail terms arguing that is not a man of means and solely relies on the donations of the well-wishers.
He added that the incarceration of the accused will adversely affect the 85 children under his care.
“The accused has a fixed abode and has been in the country for more than ten years. He also lives with 85 children in the organization’s premises, therefore, he cannot escape the jurisdiction of the country,” the defense lawyer informed the court.
Accused person 'acquired the land'
The court heard that the accused person acquired the land in 2012 and has developed extensively making it a home to over 80 vulnerable children who largely depend on him.
Jason's lawyer also submitted that one of the complainants was at some point an employee in the organization that the accused person runs until 2020 when the contract was terminated.
However, the victim's lawyer disputed Jason's submissions stating that the accused has been non-cooperative and is a flight risk his a foreigner.
The magistrate, however, dismissed the alleged witness interference allegations raised by the complainant’s lawyer stating that they were not justifiable since no supporting affidavit was filed.
“The issues raised by the complainant are unsubstantiated allegations that can only be treated as speculations since no supporting affidavit has been filed to support the same.
"The accused person is released on Ksh200,000 cash bail, and one Kenyan contact person,” Magistrate Onyina ruled.
The case will be mentioned on June 9, 2023.