Blow to Ol-Jorai farm land owners as court nullifies over 3000 deeds

Land owners of the Oljorai Agricultural Development Corporation were shocked after a court declared their title deeds relating to the 8,000-acre land null and void.

The decision by the Environmental and Lands court affects some 6,800 members of the Oljorai Limited, a land-buying company that settled them at the farm in Kiambogo over 40 years ago.

Justice Sila Munyao, in a ruling delivered by Justice John Mutungi on Wednesday, noted that no such title deed existed and that the parcel number LR 20229/1 was never sub-divided into 3,320 plots.

"It is hereby declared that the titles of Kiambogo/Kiambogo Block 3/1 to 3320 (Oljorai Company Limited) are all fraudulent titles and all null and void," said Justice Munyao in the judgement. The court also ruled that no other titles said to have originated from the land 20229/1 were legal.

Further, the court ordered the chief Land Registrar and the District Land Registrar Naivasha to expunge from their records all the 3,320 titles claimed to be genuine.

"The director of surveys is hereby ordered to forthwith expunge the above registry index maps or any other maps alleged to have originated from the land," said Mutungi.

Rightful proprietor

The court went ahead to dismiss with costs the suit filed by Oljorai Company Limited against Solai Ruyobei Farm Limited and declared Solai Ruyobei Farm Limited as the rightful proprietor of the land.

"Solai Ruyobei Farm Limited is at liberty to apply for an order of eviction and deal with the suit land as it so wishes."

The judgement ended a 24-year row over the possession of land between Oljorai Company (plaintiff) and Ruyobei Farm (defendant).

The plaintiff under the leadership of Nakuru Orange Democratic Movement Chairman Peter Ndungunya Ole Osono, moved to court in 2007 to claim the land saying that they acquired it from Agricultural Development Corporation (ADC) in 1995 and had stayed there peacefully.

The plaintiff claimed they had the right over the land under the claim of adverse possession, having peacefully occupied the land for over 12 years. Further, they claimed they had paid Sh10 million to the ADC to surrender the land to them after they were given an allotment letter on April 2, 1998.

They accused the land registrar of illegally subdividing the land, which was initially LR NO 9581, after which it fraudulently handed it over to the defendant.

Legally acquired

While stating that the land was legally acquired, they further said the land was later subdivided into 3320 plots - Kiambogo/Kiambogo Block 3/1 to 3320 (Oljorai Company Limited).

They also wanted a permanent injunction restraining the defendant from interfering with the land or advertising, selling, subdividing or developing the land.

However, the defendant opposed the application and reiterated that they bought the land from ADC for Sh24 million and that the titles acquired by the plaintiff were fake.

The defendant accused the plaintiff of fraudulently making titles without authority and forcing their way into the land they have no right to. They sought the dismissal of the suit and urged the court to issue an eviction order against the plaintiff.