Two siblings have lost ownership of their father’s land to Legio Maria Church of African Mission in Siaya County.
A Lands and Environment court in Kisumu dismissed a lower court judgement that gave Melkio Oduor and Angeline Apondi ownership of the land that belonged to their father, the late Gilbert Ogola.
In the first ruling, Siaya Principal Magistrate Tom Olando ordered that the registration of the land parcel LR No Siaya/Ojwando ‘A’/3409, under the church’s name be revoked.
Mr Olando said the church had used fraudulent means to acquire the said parcel of land.
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“Though the land was registered under the name of the church, I am not convinced that it legally acquired the parcel,” Olando said in his judgement.
He further said there was no evidence showing the land was given to the church.
The magistrate relied on a Will written by the deceased and the fact that the land was home to his children. But the Lands and Environment court’s judge Justice Anthony Ombwayo established that the sibling’s claim on fraud was weak. “Failure to plead fraud and particulars as is required in law made the claim weak. Moreover, there was no evidence that the appellant obtained the title fraudulently,” Justice Ombwayo said.
Justice Ombwayo added that there was no evidence of any objection filed by the deceased who donated the land to the church or his children.
The judge found that the land had never been registered in late Ogola’s name, thus dismissing the deceased’s Will.
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Further, Justice Ombwayo said the sibling’s claim over their father’s land was time barred.
“Moreover, the suit in the lower court was filed more than 12 years when the cause of action accrued. I do hold that the claim was time barred,” Ombwayo ruled. A Will by the late Ogola listed the land among properties to be divided among his heirs.