Win for Thome residents as court rules on land row

The Environment and Lands Court has dismissed a case filed by a private developer claiming ownership of parcel set aside for Thome Police Station in Nairobi County.

Justice Samson Ok’ongo threw out the case filed by Stephen Kamau Githinji after finding that the property he was claiming was allocated for public use and therefore a government asset. The judge affirmed National Land Commission (NLC) finding that Kamau had illegally acquired a title for L.R No. 209/12947/4.

“The court was left wondering why the applicant is pursuing reliefs in respect of the suit property that does not belong to him,” said Justice Okong’o.

In the case, Kamau averred that he followed the law in acquiring the contested property. In his case against NLC, Nairobi County Government and Thome V Residents Welfare Association, he claimed that he got an allotment letter in 1997 and put up a semi-permanent three-bedroom house on the land.

The court heard that on June 23, 2016, Kamau saw an advertisement by NLC requiring him to appear before it over the property. During the hearing before NLC, he was informed that his title was illegal as the property was reserved for a police station

According to Kamau, NLC did not hear the case by Thome Residents adding that he was not given enough time to prepare for hearing. He disputed that NLC had powers to investigate or revoke titles to private land. NLC and the residents opposed the case. The commission told the court that it received a complaint from Thome residents that a property set aside to put up a police station had been illegally allocated to private individuals.

NLC said it gave Kamau an opportunity to argue his case, but found that the property was set aside for the government.