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Judge orders reprieve for Governor Sonko relative in Kilifi land dispute

By Standard Team | Published Sat, February 10th 2018 at 09:28, Updated February 10th 2018 at 09:32 GMT +3

A judge has ordered parties in a Sh183 million land dispute in Kikambala, Kilifi County, to appear before her on April 16 for hearing of an application seeking to stop an eviction.

On Friday, Justice C Yano ruled that Caroline Mwelu Mwandiku should stay on the property until the applications she has filed are heard and determined.

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Caroline, who is Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko’s cousin, still lives on the 3.5 acre property a German woman claims she built despite the April 11, 2017 judgement to vacate. 

Caroline has, separately, applied to court for orders to own the property based on the principle of adverse possession and the matter is pending.

“It is hereby ordered that the status quo be maintained until the April 6, 2018. The date of hearing of the application is hereby set for April 16, 2018,” states the order by Justice Yano of the Land and Environment court.

Caroline has been locked in a bitter legal dispute with Monika Herta Elfriede Behrman and her husband Joseph Lenguris since 2013.

Monika’s lawyer John Magiya yesterday said his client is ready for all future hearings, but added that the latest orders are of no effect on Monika because the property has since been transferred from his client.

“What status quo? This order is of no effect because the property has been transferred to a third party," he said.

Magiya’s application seeking to dismiss Caroline’s claim on the property on the basis of adverse possession is also awaiting determination. He argues Caroline cannot plead ownership on this basis after claiming she had a contract with Monika.

Both women have laid claims to the property, but on April 11 last year, Justice Yano ruled that the property legally belongs to the German after determining Caroline had tried to own it through fraud.

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Nine days after this judgement, the German obtained a title to the property and it was disposed to a third party in December 2017.

Three months after the April 11, 2017 judgement, Caroline applied for orders to  suspend Justice Yano’s order.