Court summons CS Wahome over land for victims of post-poll chaos

A convoy of Internally Displaced Persons along Kiserian -Mukutani road returning to Mkutani village in Baringo South. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

The High Court in Nakuru has summoned Lands Cabinet Secretary Alice Wahome in a case between beneficiaries of the estate of Benjamin Njoroge and the government.

At the centre of the controversy is a 755-acre land bought to resettle families displaced by the 2007/08 post-election violence. 

The CS is expected to appear in court with the title deed of the land on March 21. 

The extension of the summons followed a request by lawyer Steve Biko, who said the CS had traced the file but was still tracing the title deed. 

During the mention of the case last week, the Attorney General was absent in court despite claims they had been served. 

Lawyer Amos Andama, representing the post-election violence victims, raised concern over the failure of the Attorney General to participate in the case. 

Andama noted that the AG does not ordinarily appear, adding that he was not sure whether it was an issue of service. 

He noted that there were over 400 displaced persons settled on the land, and it is important if the AG participates in the case. 

The state, under the resettlement programme for victims of violence, bought the land from Njoroge's (deceased) family in 2011. 

But eight sisters, their sister-in-law, and a niece said to be beneficiaries of Njoroge's estate want the families evicted. They moved to court to contest the sale of the land to the government by their brother, Philip Kamau Njoroge. 

They claimed Njoroge did not consult them when initiating and executing the sale agreement and were shocked to receive a letter dated August 8, 2011, from the law firm of Rachier and Amollo Advocates claiming that the firm had received instructions from their brother to sell Ndonga Farm and distribute the proceeds to heirs of the deceased. 

They filed a case at the Environment and Lands Court in Nakuru, claiming the actions of their brother and the government violated their fundamental rights and freedom. 

The petition was dismissed on May 26, 2022, as the court noted it never met the threshold of a constitutional petition. 

They were, however, granted leave to institute a civil claim by way of a plaint within six months of the judgment. 

The sisters filed another suit on July 17, 2022, seeking orders that the original title deed be surrendered. They also want their brother removed as an administrator. 

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