A retired Court of Appeal judge has, for the last three years, been pursuing the government over Sh 836,000.
A court battle between retired judge Samuel Bosire and Attorney General Kihara Kariuki indicates that the Environment and Lands Court awarded him Sh 836, 557 in 2018 for breach of his rights.
In his case filed by lawyer Chacha Odera, the former senior judge laments that, to date, the government has failed to comply with the court orders.
The judge wants the court to compel the government to pay him the amount and that the sum should attract interest beginning the year 2011 up-to the time it shall be paid in full.
“ The applicant has been denied the benefit of the sum of Sh 836,557- together with interest on the sum awarded calculated from 1st June 2011 until payment of full, in addition to costs of the suit awarded thereby denying him the fruits of his judgment,” argues Odera.
In the case filed before Justice Anthony Ndung’u, the former judge wants the court to compel the government to pay him within 30 days.
The AG on the other hand wants the case dismissed. According to him, Bosire has not attached letters to show that he was pursuing the government for the payment of the amount.
He also argues that the lands Ministry Principal Secretary was not served with the court’s decree.
“The said documents which are attached to the application do not possess a stamp from the Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning and it is sufficient to say that the accounting officer of the relevant Ministry has not received a request from the applicant for settlement of the judgment,” replies Justice Kihara.
The AG also argues that he does not hold money on behalf of the lands ministry.
He argues: “Attorney General is not the accounting officer of the Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning. As such, the Attorney General cannot be compelled to settle claims on behalf of the Ministry of Lands and Settlement. The honorable Attorney General does not receive a budgetary allocation from the National Treasury for purposes of settling claims on behalf of other government agencies or Ministries.”
The battle in court stems from a lands dispute between the judge and AG over a property in Kabete.
Justice Bosire in his case in 2015 narrated that sometime in 1990, he applied to the commissioner of lands for allocation of land in Kabete. He intended to build a residential house.
He stated that the commissioner took a long time to process the document and (commissioner) only acted when the judge pursued him through a lawyer.
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The court heard that in 2011, a controversy over the property sparked and the commissioner asked the judge to surrender his title for revocation as the allocation was done in error.
Bosire was asked to surrender the original title to facilitate a refund of the fees he had paid.
According to the court record, the judge surrendered the title but he never got his money back.
At the same time, the judge had also indicated in his letter dated June 2, 2011, that he did not wish to be associated with the property owing to the controversy surrounding it.
In the letter, he offered to surrender the title documents against a refund of the money spent in acquiring the same.
From the documents, the judge paid Sh 247 417 on September 11, 1997, for the land. He was issued with receipt number D922559. He was also asked to pay land rent amounting to Sh 560,000. This was to cover the period between December 1, 2009, to May 31, 2010.
He again paid the amount and was issued receipt No.0228718 on March 24, 2010.
The judge also paid Sh 8570 stamp duty and Sh 20,400 Which was to be paid to the commissioner of lands.
In total, the judge spent Sh 841, 581.
However, Environment Court judge Elijah Obaga awarded him Sh 836, 557 on July 26, 2018, and with interest which was to be calculated from the date, he surrendered the title.
He now wants the court to force the government to pay him the amount at treasury bill rates.