The High Court in Mombasa has allowed squatters to proceed with a case filed against the National Land Commission (NLC) for having allocated their land to a company.
The beneficiary later sold it to another firm linked to Mombasa tycoon Mohamed Jaffer.
Justice Erick Ogola allowed Sammy Kara and other squatters to proceed with their case in which they are demanding over Sh1 billion compensation from NLC for having allegedly allocated plot number MN/VI/3913 and MN/VI/3912 to Miqdad Enterprise.
The judge dismissed preliminary objection by NLC which wanted the case to be placed before Environment and Land Court instead of a constitutional court.
“The petitioners, in my view, rightfully aver that NLC is violating their constitutional rights by taking administrative action that is likely to affect them adversely,” said Justice Ogola on Friday.
He said issues the petitioners had raised are within the jurisdiction of the constitutional court.
Justice Ogola said the squatters were originally allocated plot number MN/VI/ 3912 and MN/VI/3913 by the Government as compensation after eviction from Sheikh Sayed Children Centre in Bombolulu, Mombasa.
The petitioners were later shocked to learn that the Commissioner of Land cancelled their survey plan without informing them or obtaining consent regarding the same plots and consolidated the plots into plot number MN/VI/4688 and allocated to Miqdad Enterprise which sold it to Miritini Free Port Company.
Justice Ogola said the same plot was later consolidated to make plot No MN/VI/4805, which petitioners consider was a violation of their rights.
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The squatters argue that the Commissioner of Land unlawfully took their plot and amalgamated to create plot MN/VI/4805 in favour of Miritini Free Port which was later awarded Sh1,475,486,485 and Sh360 million as interruption award.
They say this award was fundamentally flawed because NLC was aware that Miritini Free Port Company was not and is not absolute owner of plot number MN/VI/4805.
The judge noted that the land in question was a subject of public inquiry in Mombasa which was conducted by NLC.
The petitioners aver that they came to know about the award in newspaper reports, which made them make several follow-ups demanding payment which never materialised.