Group's staff accused of forging Sh1b land title

Alexander Hoops Shihemi (second from left) with Peter Muiruri, Peter Njoroge and Patroba  Awino in court on Wednesday [Collins Kweyu, Standard]

A former chief and officials of a self-help group forged a title deed for land valued at Sh944 million in Nairobi's Donholm Estate, a court heard yesterday.

Rosemary Ngonga, a former Lands registrar at the Ministry of Lands, told Milimani Chief Magistrate Wendy Micheni that a certificate of lease issued to Sowesave Self-help Group, and allegedly signed by her, was a forgery.

"I categorically confirm that having been shown the certificate of lease purportedly signed by myself and issued to Sowesave Self-help Group, my take is that having looked at the signature, I can confirm that I am not the author and I didn't issue any title to the said Sowesave.”

“Furthermore, I can state that a self-help group is not an entity to be issued with a title. Procedurally, it is the names of the trustees to appear on the title," said Ngonga.

In the case, Alexander Hoops, Patrobas Awino, Peter Gitau and Peter Njoroge are accused of forging the title deed and an allotment letter.

Ngarwa Kamuya, an advocate, also told the court that his signature was forged.

He told court that on the date that he allegedly witnessed the signing of the lease, he was in Form 1.

In the first count, the four are accused that on unknown dates, jointly with others not before court, with intent to defraud Gidjoy Investment Ltd of 11.8 acres of land in Donholm, they made a false allotment letter purporting it to be genuine and issued by a Lands administration official.

The disputed parcel of land is the formerly Nairobi /block 82/7333, now part of the amalgamation of other parcels valued at Sh944 million.

They also face a second count of forging a lease purportedly signed by Ngonga.

They further face a third count of forging a title deed with intent to defraud Gidjoy Investment Ltd.