23 Mar 2016 16:10pm
WINDHOEK, 23 MAR (NAMPA) - Local businessman David Imbili who was on trial in the High Court in connection with the Roads Contractor Company's involvement in the B1 City property development project, has been set free.
The 46-year-old Imbili was set free on Wednesday morning after the Office of the Prosecutor-General (OPG) decided not to proceed with its prosecution on the fraud charges against him.
The charges against Imbili were withdrawn following a thorough assessment of the case documents by the OPG after which the prosecuting authority came to the conclusion that there was no case against the accused businessman.
This was made public by prosecution representative, State Advocate Henry Muhongo as he informed the court about the PG's decision for withdrawal on Wednesday morning.
Muhongo was standing in for his colleague, State Advocate Jack Eixab, who was not present in court on Wednesday due to other official commitments.
As per request by the State, the charges of fraud against you are hereby withdrawn. In the result, you are accordingly excused from the court proceedings in respect of this case, said presiding High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg.
Imbili's privately-instructed defence lawyer Sisa Namandje also personally confirmed the withdrawal of the alleged fraud charges against his client in court Wednesday.
Imbili was charged in the trial alongside former chief executive officer (CEO) of the Roads Contractor Company (RCC) Kelly Nghixulifwa, 56; Hafeni Nghinamwaami, 48; and the 51-year-old Anna Ndoroma.
Nghixulifwa, Hafeni and Ndoroma were not as lucky as the State will continue with the prosecution against them.
Their case was on Wednesday remanded until 11 May this year to enable the prosecuting authority to provide further particulars in respect of some outstanding issues earlier requested by the accused persons' defence lawyers.
The four accused persons, including the now-free Imbili, were arrested between 14 and 16 February 2014 by investigators attached to the ACC.
The remaining three accused face a total of eight main charges including corruption, fraud, theft, and money laundering.
Four of the eight charges stem from the RCCs involvement in the B1 City property development project during 2005 and 2006.
Other charges relate to Nghixulifwas tenure as the RCCs CEO, which came to an end with his resignation at the end of 2006 after he had been suspended from that position.
The OPG decided to indict Ndoroma; Nghixulifwa and Nghinamwaami on the main charges of corruptly using an office or position for gratification, fraud, failing to disclose an interest in a contract, and money laundering.
It is alleged that Nghixulifwa was a shareholder in both /Ae //Gams Engineering and Cradle Investments, but apparently concealed his stake in the two companies by having his shares held in Ndoromas name.
It is further alleged that Nghixulifwa failed to disclose his interests in the two companies to the RCC Board of Directors.
The RCC Board was allegedly kept in the dark about Nghixulifwas stake in /Ae //Gams Engineering, in which Nghinamwaami was also a shareholder.
It is again alleged that Nghixulifwa in February 2005 signed an agreement in terms of which the RCC and /Ae //Gams Engineering were to undertake the B1 City shopping complex and taxi rank development as a joint venture.
Nghixulifwa thus seemingly corruptly used his position at the RCC to buy the land where the B1 City development was to take place on behalf of /Ae //Gams Engineering with RCC funds and a credit facility to the amount of N.dollars 4,87 million.
He allegedly also defrauded the RCC by bringing managers at the parastatal and the chairperson of the RCC board under the impression that a mortgage bond of N.dollars 4,87 million had been registered under the B1 City property in the RCCs favour, when in fact that had not been done.
It is also claimed in the indictment that while still employed as RCC CEO, Nghixulifwa defrauded the RCC and a construction company, Murray and Roberts, in December 2004 by concealing his shareholding in Cradle Investments, and inducing the RCC and Murray and Roberts to pay a facilitation fee of N.dollars 150 000 to Cradle Investments and Nghinamwaami for the role they supposedly played in the construction of a new head office for the parastatal.
In fact, Nghinamwaami and Cradle Investments had not been appointed as project facilitators, and were not entitled to receive such a fee.
It is also suspected Nghixulifwa used his position in the parastatal during April 2006 to have debt of N.dollars 29 954 of Cradle Investments settled with a firm of auditors with RCC funds.
In another charge, it is alleged that Nghixulifwa corruptly used his position as RCC CEO in March 2006 to have a payment of N.dollars 92 729 made with RCC funds on the home loan account of an RCC employee, Brian Nalisa, which was allegedly in arrears.
Defence lawyers, Advocate Louis Botes and Silas Kishi-Shakumu are representing the accused persons.
The accused are free on bail of N.dollars 60 000 each.
State Advocate Jack Eixab is appearing for the prosecution.