Reprieve for Sudi as court declines to issue arrest warrant

Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi. [Peter Ochieng, Standard]

The Environment and Lands Court in Eldoret has declined to issue orders for the arrest of Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi over a land tussle with administrators of Kibor Arap Talai estate.

Nancy Jepkurui Talai and Joshua Talai Kibor, who are the administrators of the estate, had moved to court seeking orders compelling Kesses Officer Commanding Station (OCS) to enforce the court order issued on May 28, 2020.

The court then issued injunctive orders stopping Sudi from fencing the disputed property situated in Kesses next to Moi University.

They also asked the court to issue an order for Sudi's arrest in the event he had fenced the disputed land.

In their case, they contented that on April 8, 2020, they applied for an injunction which was heard and orders were granted on May 28, 2020, stopping the legislator from interfering with the suit property pending hearing and determination of the suit.

However, the administrators did not take steps to prosecute the suit, and on November 9, 2021, the court asked the applicants to explain why the suit should not be dismissed.

The court spared the suit from dismissal and directed that the matter be mentioned before the Deputy Registrar for parties to confirm compliance with pre-trial requirements.

They told the court the case, however, did not go to a hearing as the Sudi did not comply with pre-trial requirements.

The applicants argued that despite the defendant being restrained from interfering with the suit property, he has continued to fence a portion of the land. In response, Sudi argued that the administrators did not move the court to extend injunctive orders.

He denied ever fencing any portion of the suit property. He told the court the two administrators had failed to disclose that they were facing criminal charges due to the alleged destruction of fences belonging to other beneficiaries.

Justice Elijah Obaga said the applicants were under obligation to prosecute the suit within 12 months after injunctive orders were issued in 2020. "The was no application made for the extension of the injunctive orders. It therefore means that the orders lapsed on May 27, 2021," Obaga held.