Two sisters who relinquished their stake to their late brother have lost a bid to lay claim to the prime property in Limuru.
At the same the time, the Court of Appeal ordered that the prime land reverts to their brother’s widow and her daughter after finding he could not have transferred it while dead.
In an intriguing battle where the widow was supporting Roskan Investment Ltd, the company that was found to have illegally transferred the 20 acres, Justice Daniel Musinga found that the owner, James Mirie, could not have signed the transfer documents after he had died.
“The learned judge was therefore right in ordering the cancellation of the irregular transfer. That notwithstanding, having established that James was the absolute registered owner of the suit property, cancellation of the said transfer meant that the property ought to revert to the estate of James,” said Justice Musinga in a judgment that Justice Jamila Mohammed concurred with.
The battle between Roskan, Rosemary Wambui, Patrick Mungai and Angela Nyokabi against Pauline Njoki and Sheila Wariara revolves around family ties.
Mungai is Wambui’s husband and Nyokabi is their daughter.
The three own Roskan together with the administrator of Mirie’s estate.
Mirie was Wambui’s brother and Njoki and Wariara are Nduta’s sisters.
According to the court records, their late mother Emily Nduta bequeathed Nduta, Njoki and Wariara the property known as “the island farm.”
Njoki and Wariara in their case argued that upon their mother passing in 1977, they did not have an immediate need to use the land as they were both married and doing well financially.
At the same time, they argued, their sister Wambui was also running her business and was married to Mungai, a pilot.
According to Njoki and Wariara, the three sisters decided to leave the property to Mirie who is the eldest brother after he approached them with a request to use it to improve his financial position.
The court heard that the family met on September 13, 1997 and it was agreed that the three sisters would relinquish their interest in the farm while Mirie would relinquish his interest in Mirie Properties Limited to them.
The company (Mirie Properties) owned a two-acre property along Ngong Road in Nairobi, which had been bequeathed to Mirie. The family approached the public trustee and the property was transferred to Mirie.
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However, Njoki and Wariara turned around and claimed that Mirie was holding the property in their trust.
They claimed that the deceased, Wambui, Mungai and Nyokabi devised a plot to illegally sell the property to Roskan for Sh15 million.
They claimed that Mirie used the money to buy a maisonette within Akiba Estate at South B, valued at Sh8 million.
Njoki and Wariara alleged that Wambui and Mirie had presented them with a plan to build 56 residential houses on the property for the benefit of all of them.
The two were allegedly required to invest Sh5 million each within 30 days but they were unable to.
They claimed that the property was transferred after James died on February 13, 2010. Wambui, Mungai and Nyokabi denied the allegations.
They argued that the three sisters relinquished their stake to Mirie and that he was not selling the land, instead, he was transferring it as had been agreed in 2009.
Mirie would provide land for the construction of the proposed residential houses.
In return, he acquired 74 percent shareholding in Roskan while the Wambui, Mungai and Nyokabi retained a 26 percent joint shareholding in the company.
According to them, the true value of the property was Sh53 million and the Sh10 million paid to Mirie was to enable him to purchase a house and vacate the property for development.
The court heard that Njoki and Wariara were invited to join the Sh475 million venture by giving Sh5 million for a 26 per cent share but they declined.