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Lawyer questions absence of ‘kingpin’ in B1 City trial

2022-09-22  Roland Routh

Lawyer questions absence of ‘kingpin’ in B1 City trial

Prominent defence lawyer Trevor Brockerhoff yesterday questioned why David Imbili, whom he described as the “only negotiator” with the Road Contractors Company (RCC) over the acquisition of Erf 10485 along Independence Avenue was absent from the trial.

He was cross-examining Hans Hashagen, a forensic accountant, in the fraud and corruption trial of former CEO of the RCC Kelly Nghixulifwa and two of his business friends, Anna Ndoroma and Hafeni Nghinamwaami.

Hashagen testified about a report that was compiled by Ernst & Young on an investigation conducted into the B1 City project on behalf of the then board of directors of RCC.

Brockerhoff wanted to know from Hashagen whether his client, Nghinamwaami, was ever part of the negotiations between /Ae //Gams Engineering and the RCC regarding the purchase of the erf. 

/Ae //Gams Engineering at the time belonged to Imbili as the sole owner and director. 

He was awarded the tender to purchase the erf from the City of Windhoek. 

Brockerhoff further bombarded Hashagen with questions on whether or not his client was a member or shareholder in /Ae //Gams Engineering at any stage during the negotiations for the purchase of the erf. 

Hashagen could only answer that he has no clue. Furthermore, Brockerhoff wanted to know if the witness had any evidence that Nghinamwaami, in his personal capacity or his entity Cradle Investments, has any interest in the development of the B1 City project. Hashagen could only answer that he only knows that Nginamwaami became a director of /Ae //Gams Engineering on 1 October 2005. 

In fact, Brockerhoff stressed, it was only Imbili that had dealings with RCC on behalf of /Ae //Gams Engineering in relation to the erf in question. 

Furthermore, he put it to the witness, regarding the changes in the ownership structure of /Ae //Gams Engineering in October 2005, he did not bother to question Imbili on the reasons for the changes, whether the shares were donated, purchased or whatever. 

In fact, he said, the witness could not be bothered one way or the other as he had already made up his mind that something fishy was going on without a full investigation. 

The witness could only answer that in his mind, he had enough evidence for the conclusions he reached. This, Brockerhoff said, is very strange indeed. 

Also, the judge dismissed an application by prosecutor Hesekiel Iipinge to have an exculpatory affidavit by Nginamwaami that contains certain admissions declared admissible as evidence after Brockerhoff objected to its admission.

The trial, which has been besieged by delays since it was supposed to start in 2016, finally got off the ground in November last year when all three accused pleaded not guilty to all charges.

They are facing charges of fraud and contravening the Anti-Corruption Act.

At the centre of the matter is a loan of N$4.8 million that Nghixulifwa

 allegedly secured for Ae//Gams Engineering to purchase without declaring his interest in the company.

Nghixulifwa, who resigned after the ambitious supposed construction of B1 City opposite the Katutura State Hospital, went belly-up, is facing 11 charges of fraud and contravening the Anti-Corruption Act, while Ndoroma faces four counts and Nghinamwaami four counts. 

The trial is continuing before Judge Christi Liebenberg, and the accused are all on bail.

2022-09-22  Roland Routh

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