Court ruling that may end eight-year battle for control of Nyeri land buying firm

Part of the land in Laikipia owned by North Tetu Farmers Company Limited [File, Standard]

Over 3,000 shareholders of a land-buying company in Nyeri have a reason to smile after the High Court declared a set of directors as legally in office, bringing to end an eight-year dispute over its management.

In his judgement, Justice John Njagi noted that all the eight directors of North Tetu Farmers Company Limited were legally endorsed by shareholders at an Annual General Meeting held on January 24, 2014.

The company with vast land and properties spread across Nyeri and Laikipia counties had been locked in a court battle over the control of its assets with two sets of directors claiming to be legally in office.

The firm had moved to court seeking orders to stop its former chairman Joseph Nderitu Wanjohi from passing himself off as the director, and a declaration the current team of directors was legally in office.

It also sought an injunction restraining the defendant from running an office in Nanyuki or anywhere else in the name of the firm.

The suit almost brought the operations of North Tetu Farmers Company Limited to its knees as two splinter groups fought to have a grip on an entity, incorporated under the companies act on November 5, 1971.

Wanjohi had submitted he was wrongly removed from office contrary to the provisions of section 185 of the Company Act that provided that a director may be removed before the expiration of his term by ordinary resolution.

“I find the current directors legally in office and properly elected in office,” Justice Njagi ruled.

They include Gaitho Gatuguta, Daniel Murage, Nancy Wangeci, Eunice Muringi, Charles Ngare, Loise Njoki, Wangondu Kariira and Paul Njaari.

The judge ordered Wanjohi who was ousted in an AGM held by the present directors to cease passing himself off as a director.