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Kitusuru land investors write to NLC, EACC over fraud

 Signage at a piece of land earmarked for sale. [Gety Images]

The owners of an 18-acre land in Kitusuru worth Sh500 million have written to the lands office and the anti-corruption agency to stop any fraudulent attempts on their property.

In a letter to the Chief Land Registrar, the Director of Survey and the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, Ashok Rupshi Shah and Hiten Kumar Raja want an immediate freeze on all transactions on their Land Reference Number 18485 (I.R Number 64011).

Through Macharia-Mwangi & Njeru Advocates, the businessmen asked the Chief Land Registrar to revoke all purported Titles and Leases issued in favour of persons other than the owners of the legitimate title as declared by the court in ELC No. 312 of 2009 Milimani: Ashok and & Hiten K.A Raja- Vs-Jacob Juma & Commissioner of Lands & Registrar.

The two also want EACC to investigate officers who have been involved in fraudulent activities and who have conspired with unscrupulous persons to grab their property.

According to the letter, Shah and Raja note that they acquired Land in Kitusuru, and Liney Company Limited was issued with a letter of Allotment dated March 12, 1992 to 6.0 Ha to an unsurveyed plot.

They argued that the shareholders of the first Grantee, Liney Company Limited sold their shares to Ms Dipti Kiran Shah and Mr Kiran Kumar Shah via the Agreement dated November 18, 1994 before they acquired it on March 29, 2007 transfer was registered.

In August last year, the late businessman Jacob Juma was ordered to compensate two traders Sh50 million for grabbing their Sh500 million land in Nairobi.

Environment and Land Court judge Loice Komingoi, in her ruling, stated that Juma grabbed and illegally occupied the prime piece of land in Loresho, which denied the real owners, Ashok Shah and Hitenkumar Raja, the right to enjoy their property.

"Juma unlawfully interfered and grabbed the property from 2008, when the prime land in Loresho, Nairobi, was valued at Sh252 million. I am satisfied that the complainants have suffered damages for trespass into their property and are entitled to compensation," ruled Justice Komingoi.

The judge did not however specify whether the compensation would be paid by Juma's widow Miriam Wairimu, who testified on his behalf after his alleged assassination on May 6, 2016.

The judge ruled that there was sufficient evidence to prove that Juma acted in collusion with some officials at the Lands registry to illegally obtain the title and ordered his dependants and agents to immediately vacate the property and hand it back to Mr Shah and Mr Raja.

Shah and Raja sued Juma in 2009 claiming that he had grabbed their land, fenced it with a perimeter wall and built security houses to deny them access.

The two businessmen said they bought the land from Liney Company Limited, which were the original owners of the piece of land, having acquired it from the government in 1993.

They stated that before they could take possession, Juma fraudulently procured a fake title to claim ownership and went ahead to block them from accessing the property by constructing the perimeter wall in 2008.

Juma had, in response filed in July 2009, stated that the land was allocated to him in 1992 by the Commissioner of Lands, and issued with a deed plan which he used to acquire the title deed in 1994.

After his death, his widow took over the case and testified in court in December 2019, where she stated that Juma legally acquired the land in 1992 by following the right procedures and was issued with a valid title deed.

The Ministry of Lands, through state counsel Allan Kamau, however told the court the original land documents were stolen and suspected that Juma might have used the lost documents to fake ownership.

Kamau confirmed to court that the original records from the Commissioner of Lands and the Registrar of Titles showed that the land was given to Liney Company Limited, which later sold it to Shah and Raja.

Justice Komingoi ruled that the evidence proved that the land was allocated to Liney Company Limited, and that the title held by Juma was fraudulently acquired.

The businessmen argued in their letter that on or about the date of delivery of judgment a person named Davis Nathan Chelogoi had also come in with his own separate claim in respect of the property.

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