A woman and a pastor found guilty of forging a signature of a tycoon who died in 2018 have been sentenced to one and half years or pay a fine of Sh 200,000.
Appearing for sentencing before Milimani Magistrate Ben Mark, Marilyn Mercy Wanjiru and Christopher Mutira of International Pentecostal Holiness Church Africa, based in Nairobi’s Ngara Estate were sentenced to one year imprisonment.
They were charged with attempting to obtain a marriage certificate with plans to take over a multimillion-shilling estate on July 27, 2018.
Marilyn Mercy Wanjiru, a mother of two, was found guilty in February 2023 of forging the papers alleging between her and Kwanwaljit Singh Chadda, who died of a heart attack intestate were married.
Mutira was implicated in the matter after claiming that he solemnized the marriage between Ms Wanjiru and Mr Chadda.
Other than a house in Ngara, where Mr Chadda lived, Ms Wanjiru listed a motor vehicle, two plots in Nairobi, a 7.5 acre parcel of land in Shimoni, Kwale County and Treasury bonds held at Absa Bank.
She has also listed shares in Britam, Co-op Bank, Diamond Trust Bank Housing Finance Company of Kenya, KCB Bank, Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen), Safaricom, Total Kenya, Old Mutual and Absa, which was worth Sh5 million as of December 2018.
The family of Mr Chadda led by his brother Parminder Singh claim that their kin was not married and never had a girlfriend.
Milimani principal magistrate B. M. Ekhubi had ruled that the marriage certificate was forged for certain benefits and that the woman and the man of the cloth had a motive and an opportunity by presenting forged documents to the Registrar of Marriages.
The magistrate said Ms Wanjiru was pursuing a succession case, pending before the High Court, involving the estate of Mr Chadda and the certificate would strengthen her case.
The woman already petitioned to be granted letters to administer Mr Chadda’s estate but Mr Parminder challenged it and also filed a complaint at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) over the forged certificate.
Ms Wanjiru listed her son and daughter aged 28 and 26, respectively and herself as surviving beneficiaries of the estate and that he died aged 76 without a will.
Mr Parminder had in 2019 asked the court to compel Ms Wanjiru to deposit all the money she allegedly collected from Mr Chadda’s properties in court.
The application was, however, rejected by Justice Stella Mutuku in a ruling made on November 23, 2021.
Ms Wanjiru claimed he first met Mr Chadda in 1989 at Parklands when she was 19 years.
They allegedly parted ways and later reunited in 1999 and started cohabiting in 2013 until his death