Accused in B1 City development fraud case loses lawyer

HafeniNghinamwaami, one the three businesspersons implicated in the fraud and corruption surrounding the B1 City property development project, is now without legal representation following the withdrawal from the case of his Legal Aid-funded defence lawyer, KadhilaAmoomo on Tuesday.

Amoomo parted ways with Nghinamwaami when the accused made another appearance before High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg during a conference of case management review.

The lawyer cited an inability to reach a common understanding on several issues contained in the charge sheet with his client as the reason for withdrawal.

Liebeberg subsequently allowed Amoomo to withdraw from the case and in the process, Nghinamwaami was again ordered to apply to the Justice Ministry' s Directorate of Legal Aid for another State-funded defence lawyer to come and defend him during future court proceedings and when his trial resumes again.

The case was, thereafter, on Tuesday postponed until 21 August this year (2019) to allow the Legal Aid department to appoint another lawyer for Nghinamwaami.

The three accused persons in the matter are former chief executive officer of the Roads Contractor Company (RCC) Kelly Nghixulifwa, 58, Nghinamwaami, 50, and 49-year-old Anna Ndoroma.

Furthermore, on 17 October 2018, High Court Judge Liebenberg dismissed an application by Nghixulifwa in which the accused unsuccessfully wanted the court to issue an order to compel the State to provide him with further particulars and explain in full detail that the RCC was indeed a public body at the commission of the alleged fraud and corruption offences.

The three accused face eight main charges including corruption, fraud, theft and money laundering.

These charges stem from the RCC's involvement in the B1 City property development project opposite the Katutura State Hospital during 2005 and 2006.

RCC started this joint venture with /Ae //Gams Engineering.

It is alleged that Nghixulifwa was a shareholder in /Ae //Gams Engineering and Cradle Investments, but apparently concealed his stake in the two companies by having his shares held in Ndoroma's name.

While still CEO, Nghixulifwa allegedly claimed payment from the parastatal and another construction company for the role Cradle Investments supposedly played in the construction of the RCC head office.

The RCC Board of Directors was allegedly also kept in the dark about Nghixulifwa's involvement in the companies.

All three are free on bail of N.dollars 60 000 each, and their bail was extended until their next court appearance on 21 August 2019.

State Advocate Ezekiel Iipinge is appearing for the prosecution while defence lawyers SlyskenMakando and Silas Kishi-Shakumu are representing Nghixulifwa and Ndoroma.

Source: Namibia Press Agency