Kenyan in Ireland fights for Sh55m city property

Amos Njugi Wachira testifies before Environment and Land Court judge Jaqueline Mogeni. [File, Standard]

A Kenyan living in Ireland is crying for justice after his property valued at more than Sh55 million was demolished.

Amos Njugi Wachira claims Stephen Ocholla Sangira moved to the magistrate’s court and allegedly served him with papers at Eastleigh despite him not being in the country.

Wachira told the Environment and Lands Court that Sangira sent goons to the property in Pangani to demolish it with the help of the police.

Justice Jaqueline Mogeni yesterday heard that despite Sangira and in Kachuodho Holdings Ltd filing the case before the lower court, they never showed up, resulting to the case they had filed being dismissed.

At the same time, Wachira testified that even before the High Court, the two never filed a reply or asked a lawyer to appear on their behalf.

Wachira has also sued the Nairobi County, Chief Lands Registrar, Inspector General of Police and Attorney General.

The AG and county government told the court that they will not call any witnesses.

The petitioner told the court that on October 28, 2021, people who had been hired by Kachuodho and Sangira invaded his property and demolished it on the allegation that they had a 99-year lease.

According to him, the firm and Sangira then proceeded to the magistrate’s court, which aided him to evict his tenants and demolishing it.

“Police officers acting under the authority of the 5th defendant (AG) escorted the goons and provided them with protection to demolish the property. The fifth respondent is thus liable for all damages arising from the said malicious damage alongside the first, second and third respondents,” he said.

Wachira wants the court to order the government to pay him Sh19 million for the loss, alongside the value of his property. The magistrate’s court dismissed the case filed by Kachuodho and Sangira after it was discovered that the property was valued more than Sh1 million and the two never showed up in court.

“Despite demand and notice of intention to sue having been given to the defendants, they have failed and or neglected to settle my claim thus making the filing of this case necessary,” he continued.

Wachira bought the property from Ephantus Ngochi in 2007. He then took a loan from the Housing Finance Corporation of Kenya and used the property as security.

“The property initially comprised single storey main house, four extension blocks, and two ablution blocks all adding to 28 units. He then modified them and it fetched at least Sh192,000 in rent per month.

He wants compensation and orders barring Sangira and his company, who didn’t file a reply, from claiming the property.