The Environment and Lands Court has dealt catholic nuns a major blow in a long-running battle with Father William Charles Fryda.
Justice Antony Ombwayo has dismissed an application filed by Assumption Sisters of Nairobi that sought to order Father Fryda to hand over crucial documents relating to St. Mary’s Mission Hospital.
The judge found that the application was filed before the wrong court as the Court of Appeal issued the orders for ownership handover in 2020.
“This court is of the view that the defendants’ ought to have filed the instant application before the Court of Appeal seeking review. As earlier highlighted, this court did not give the said orders and it is trite law that review is done by the court that passed the orders,” said Justice Ambwayo.
The judge ordered the nuns to pay the priest the cost of the case adding the court had no powers to entertain the application.
On December 25, 2020, the Court of Appeal ordered that both the nuns and the priest to oversee the hospital handover.
The court further ordered that the affairs of the hospital should be under the St. Mary’s Missions Hospital.
However, the nuns went back to court, seeking to force Fryda to hand over three titles, cheque books all records relating to the hospital.
The sisters claimed that the transfer had stalled as the priest was still holding on to the crucial documents.
Father Fryda denied having any document touching on the hospital. He said that the original documents were with Macharia Njeru Advocates, awaiting the transfer of ownership from the nuns to the hospital.
According to him, it was impossible to hand over something he did not have.
The priest stated that he no longer had access to documents as the nuns took over the hospital on December 27, 2017 and January 4, 2018.
According to him, with the nuns with the assistance of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations obtained orders and raided the hospitals in Langata and Elementaita.
He stated that during the said violent takeover, the documents including the chequebooks and books of accounts were at the hospital. He said that he was later removed as a signatory of the hospital’s accounts.
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Father Fryda asserted that nothing stops the nuns from requesting for the relevant books of accounts since they had appointed new signatories.
The court heard that it is now five years since the nuns took over the medical facility.
He observed that although the nuns filed the application in February this year, they dated the same March 15, 2021. According to him, this was meant to mislead the lands court that they were seeking to enforce its orders.