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ELECTION 2022

Former PS, firm battle over land

RIFT VALLEY
By Everlyne Kwamboka | Feb 10th 2018 | 3 min read
A former PS in the ministry of public works, ENG Samson Akute (right), briefs his lawyer Mohammed Nyaoga, at the High Court on Friday, where he was charged with forgery, among other infractions. [Photo: Courtesy]

A former senior government official is fighting for a piece of land worth millions of shillings leased to a Chinese company in Kajiado County.

The 24.3 hectares of land belonging to former PS Samuel Teela Akute (pictured) is said to have been illegally acquired by one Kenneth Kamau Ngigi, who now claims to be the absolute proprietor. He later changed it from agricultural to commercial before leasing it to the foreign company.

Akute now wants the court to give a declaration that his title deed issued by the Kajiado/County Land Registrar be reinstated as the only registered absolute proprietor, and to deregister the document Ngigi used.

He is also seeking orders directing Ngigi and Twyford Company Ltd to remove within 14 days any buildings or structures erected on the land situated along the Kitengela-Namanga Road.

To implement the court orders, Akute who served as the Public Works PS, also wants the police to be directed to assist in enforcement and compliance of the orders. When the matter came up before High Court judge Christine Ochieng’ on Wednesday, the PS produced a document from the Government Printer showing his title was genuine. He also produced a supporting affidavit.

Judge Ochieng’ ordered the company and Ngigi to respond within seven days and the matter be mentioned on February 19.

In the letter produced in court as evidence, the Government Printer is said to have written to the Director of Criminal Investigations, saying the title deed under Akute’s name was the genuine one.

In July 18, the judge granted him temporary orders stopping the two from trespassing, selling, transferring, mortgaging or dealing with the property pending hearing and determination of the case.

She also ordered the company to remove its structures and construction materials.

The suit land originally belonged to Mr Noah Melita ole Nkai who negotiated the purchase price with Akute but owing to circumstances, he fronted Mr Sammy Kitur to be registered as the legal owner.

Records tampered with

The Purka Land Control Board approved the deal on April 16, 1996 and a title was issued to Kitur who later transferred the same to the former PS on August 14, 1997.

He told the court that his records at the Kajiado Land Registry were tampered with and his place replaced by that of Ngigi.

Ngigi is said to have alienated the suit land and using a sale agreement dated December 23, 2015, sold it to the company at Sh235,295,000.

This was after he allegedly obtained a title deed on May 29, 1996. In an affidavit tabled in court by the company’s Managing Director Ruiqin Li, he claimed the company was an innocent party to the allegations of fraud being made by the former PS.

Li added that the company undertook due diligence including conducting official searches at the land registry and everything indicated Ngigi was the property owner. He added that the company had invested Sh2 billion in developing the property.

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