The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has repossessed 20 prime plots at Nyali in Mombasa from a private developer.
According to court documents filed at the Environment and Land Court, which delivered judgement on Monday, the plots were illegally, taken from the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) and handed to a private developer, Enock Tuitoek, through his firm, Aerial Developers Company in 1975.
The plots cover dozens of acres and were already developed with Government buildings during the life of the East Africa Community (EAC) that collapsed in 1977. During the life of the defunct community, the property was held in trust for the KCAA by the Finance ministry.
Tuitoek did not develop the property further but settled on it. In documents filed in reply to a petition by KCAA, he claimed legal ownership by alleging he was allocated the property lawfully by the Government.
In 2009, KCAA, in efforts to reclaim its assets, reported the loss of the property to the defunct Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (KACC) which initiated an investigation.
Working on its own findings, KACC sought orders to reclaim the property. But Tuitoek opposed the suit, which has dragged in the courts since 2009.
Justice Charles Yano ordered the 20 plots to be returned to KCAA after he found that EACC officials were right in demanding repossession of the plots, which were Government land reserved for the construction of houses for civil servants and military officers.
The judge found that before the plots were grabbed, the Government did a survey on October 22, 1975 when Kenya was still a member of the EAC.
Justice Yano noted that after the survey was completed, the Government built four-bedroom bungalows with servant quarters.
“Having considered the evidence on record and the submission as well as the law, I am satisfied and I find that at all material time the suit pieces of land were vested in the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority,” ruled Justice Yano.
The judge dismissed Tuitoek’s claims that he was legally allocated the plots by the Commissioner of Land, “who had no powers to alienate the land that had already been allocated”.
Justice Yano said the land was later allocated to Tuitoek illegally without considering that it had been reserved for public use.
He found that Tuitoek’s claim that he was given a grant was not true because there was no evidence that the President signed any grant in his favour.
The judge said that after the defendant was sued by the EACC, he did not produce any evidence to support his claim that the National Land Commission had allocated the land to him and his company.
“Since the defendant could not produce any evidence, I therefore subsequently find his claim as null and void. I accordingly enter judgment in favour of EACC against the defendant,” the judge ruled.
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