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Woman seeks court's help to save Sh50m Nairobi home

 

Jackline Monica Wambui outside a house which she claims a Nairobi lawyer wants to sell without her consent. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

A mentally ill woman is seeking court’s intervention to secure her Sh50 million home in Nairobi's Kilimani from auctioneers who have moved in to evict her family.

Monica Wambui, who was noted by another court to be mentally incapacitated, claims that she is at risk of being rendered homeless.

This is after a lawyer who allegedly sold the house without her consent obtained an order to remove her and her mother Pauline Mukuhi from the house.

Through lawyer Titus Koceyo, the two women filed an urgent application to stop the eviction claiming that the High Court issued the illegal order while the dispute is still pending at the Court of Appeal.

“The property was fraudulently transferred to the purported buyer and the perpetrators of the fraudulent scheme have now conspired and obtained an eviction order when they are aware that the matter is pending determination at the Court of Appeal,” said Koceyo.

Wambui said she struggled to buy the house in 2002 while working abroad as a graphic designer only for her lawyer to take advantage while she was hospitalised over mental illness to transfer the property.

What is more intriguing is that Wambui and her mother claim that they rejected the sale agreement purportedly drawn between them and the buyer, Lucy Wairimu Mwangi.

Dispute over the four-bedroomed house known as Maisonette No.6 Casablanca Villas on Dennis Pritt Road in Kilimani started in 2009 when Mwangi sued Wambui and her mother for refusing to vacate the house after buying it at Sh13.7 million through lawyer Chege Wainaina.

But Wambui in her defence stated that she was suffering from depression and could not have been legally competent to enter into a contract at the time she is said to have sold the house. 

She told the court that she did not receive the sale amount, having written to her lawyer to cancel the deal over allegations of fraud and that she did not freely consent to the sale agreement due to her mental status.

However, in July 2020, Justice Grace Nzioka found that she was indeed suffering from mental illness but ruled that she did not prove that she was mentally indisposed during the actual period of the sale in January 2009.

Wambui and her mother appealed against the decision but while they were still waiting for the appellate court’s decision scheduled for March 1, Mwangi moved back to the High Court and on February 9 and obtained an order allowing her to evict the family.

Koceyo, in the application to stop the eviction, argued that the purported sale was fraudulent and that the order will occasion grave injustice to the family since they were not granted opportunity to be heard.

“It was not fair for the court to proceed in hurry to issue the eviction order without hearing the other party and with evidence that the dispute is still pending at the Court of Appeal,” said Koceyo.

Wambui swore that should the eviction proceed, it will be irreversible and cause them irreparable loss in light of their pending appeal which has high chances of success.

She maintained that the alleged sale of her property was fraudulent since her former advocate sought her signature while she was in a hospital bed.

“I have lived in the property since we purchased it and done ground developments which we will lose if the eviction takes place. It is in the interest of justice that the court stops our eviction pending determination of our appeal,” swore Wambui.

She added that she has evidence of medical records to prove she was mentally incapacitated at the time the sale agreement was signed and which she claims the High Court ignored when it ruled in favour of the buyer.