Prominent property developer Erastus Nikodemus and his co-accused were released on bail of N$50,000 after they were arrested for allegedly defrauding Ongwediva Town Council of N$3 million between 2009 and 2012.
The trio were granted bail in the Oshakati Regional Court on March 2 following their arrest on that same day. Their case has since been remanded to September 15, for the fixing of a trial date.
The 45-year-old Erastus Nikodemus, the owner of Nikodemus Architectural Design and Greywall Properties, faces 21 counts of fraud, corruption, forgery and uttering of forged documents.
His brother and co-accused, 37-year-old Fillemon Nikodemus, faces 13 counts while a third accused, 41-year-old Zimbabwean national Tonderai Makandjera, faces 15 counts of fraud, corruption, forgery and uttering of forged documents. Makandjera was a former employee at Greywall Properties.
The defrauded amount totals more than N$3,37 million.
The trio is accused of forging documents of planning, design, preparations, evaluation of tenders and construction supervision of social housing for Ongwediva Town Council. Their arrests in March stem from an investigation of alleged corrupt practices conducted by the ACC since 2012.
It is alleged the trio defrauded council of over N$870,000 in the first phase while N$2,5 million was pocketed during the second phase.
It is further alleged that Nikodemus Architectural Design was contracted by the council to plan, design, prepare tender documents, advertise, administer, evaluate and supervise the tender to construct social housing units for the council, while he was not registered as an architect of quantity surveyor in terms of the Architect and Quantity Surveyors Act of 1979.
However, the same contract ended up with West Wing Investment cc, a company established by Erastus Nikodemus in the name of his brother, which was also operating from the same office as Nikodemus Architectural Design. Erastus Nikodemus owns a number of properties in the north.
ACC spokesperson Albert Mbanga has confirmed their arrest.