Sh 700m land to be reverted to state


Environment and Land Court judge, Justice Benard Eboso orders public land irregularly allocated to a company to be returned to the government. [Standard]

A Sh700 million public land in the city whose irregular transfer cost a judge his job will now be returned to the government.

The Chief Land Registrar is expected to revoke the ownership of the property that had been transferred to Rockville Ltd and register it in the name of the National Treasury’s Principal Secretary.

The 0.96-acre land on Bishops Road in Nairobi was reserved for the official residence of the Kenya School of Law (KSL) principal before it was fraudulently acquired and transferred.

Justice (rtd) Leonard Njagi, who was sent home during the 2012 Judiciary purge, was alleged to have facilitated the transfer of the property to Rockville Ltd, where he was a director.

“It is noted from the letter dated March 20, 1997, through which Rockville Limited applied to the first defendant (acting Commissioner of Lands) to allocate them the suit property that retired Justice Leonad Njagi and  Wilson Kipkoti were the two directors who signed the application on behalf of the second defendant (company),” reads the judgement delivered on Tuesday.

Declaring the allotment letter dated November 3, 1997 null and void, Justice Benard Eboso of the Environment and Land Court also said the grant issued to the company stands cancelled.

The judge also declared that the transfer of the property that has a government house by the company and subsequent Sh10 million charge to M/S Standard Assurance (K) Ltd was null and void.

Speaking on Tuesday after the judgement was delivered by Eboso, Ethics and Anti-Corruption boss Twalib Mbarak said public land taken away in a questionable manner will be returned to its original intended use.

“The judgement is a clear signal that irregularly acquired public property will be recovered. EACC invites others in a similar position to voluntarily surrender land in their possession that was set aside for public utility,” Mbarak said.

In the concluded case that was filed in court in 2018, EACC had received claims that the retired judge, who also served as the school’s principal, acted with the company’s directors to fraudulently acquire the property.