Pastor James Ng’ang’a is now a free man after settling a Sh3.6 million fraud case out of court.
Mr Ng’ang’a, the proprietor of Neno Evangelism Church, was discharged on Thursday after the complainant, Mr Wickson Njoroge Mwathe, forgave him. He told senior resident magistrate Wandia Nyamu that he did not want to pursue the case further.
Mr Mwathe took to the witness stand at the Milimani law courts and told Ms Nyamu that Pastor Ng’ang’a was his father's spiritual leader, adding that after some soul searching, he has “decided to forgive him.”
While answering questions from Ms Nyamu and state prosecutor Abel Omariba, Mr Mwathe stated that he understands that once he withdraws the case, he cannot revisit it.
The complainant said he was not coerced to withdraw the case, but added that he had gotten a “token of Sh700,000” out of the Sh3.6 million he alleged he was defrauded by the preacher.
The pastor, defended by lawyer Cliff Oduk, did not object to the withdrawal. The state also did not oppose the plea by Mr Mwathe to terminate the case.
“I have instructions from the Director of Public Prosecutions to not oppose the plea to terminate the case against Pastor Ng’ang’a,” Mr Omariba told the magistrate.
In the case, Mr Mwathe had alleged he was defrauded Sh3.6 million in a rent deal. The complainant had told the police that he lost the millions to the pastor. Pastor Ng’ang’a allegedly committed the offence on April 6, 2016 at the Neno Evangelism Church office along Haile Selassie Avenue, Nairobi.
In her ruling, Ms Nyamu discharged the accused and terminated the case under Section 204 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
Ms Nyamu also directed that the cash bail deposited by the pastor, who had denied pretending he was in a position to rent Mr Mwathe a house in Karen estate, be returned to him.
Upon being released, the pastor declined to comment on the case saying “whoever wants any comment should go to his church.”
His lawyer also asked the media not to harass the “free man since the case has been terminated.”