Lands and Environment court on Monday last week ruled in favour of Eldoret billionaire Jackson Kibor, 88 in a dispute over a 1,250-acre piece of land pitting him against his sons.
Justice Antony Ombwayo while sitting in Kisumu ruled that Kibor was the owner of the disputed land ending the tussle between the businessman and his sons.
Kibor had moved to court in 2016 to block the transfer of the parcels of land to his sons in an unresolved family dispute.
He also claimed that his employees were illegally registered as proprietors of the parcels of land.
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The court found that Mzee Kibor was the legal owner of the land and that his sons and the employees did not have valid documents to claim the land.
The judge ruled that Kibor presented in court documents which validated his ownership unlike his sons.
“The upshot of the above is that the plaintiff has proved his case on balance of probability and I, therefore, declare that he is the rightful owner of the original parcel known as LR No 8300 and 8301 (LR 16815 and LR 16896/1),” he ruled.
“I have directed Uasin Gishu land registrar to nullify and cancel purported unlawful and illegal consolidation and subdivision of the land as well as the issuance of title deeds to defendants,” he added.
The court further directed the affected employees to vacate the land within a period of 150 days failure to which they will be forcefully evicted.
To remain in their father’s land
However, the court ruled that Kibor’s son will remain in their father’s land.
“The 11th, 15th defendants and the 18th defendants are the sons of the plaintiff and therefore, I decline to order for their eviction,” stated the ruling.
Mzee Kibor in an interview with The Standard said that he would conduct DNA tests to ascertain if the five sons ‘were truly his’.
The virtual ruling was made in Kisumu where Justice Ombwayo has been transferred to.
Elkana Kipleting, Evans Kipkosgei, Eric Kipchumba, Raymond Kibitok and Edwin Kipkoech are Kibor’s sons said to have fraudulently subdivided and were processing title deeds to the land.
Other defendants included Kipruto arap Lelei, Samuel Kiprono, Tanguar Suge, Serei arap Lelnengit, Chelulei Keino, Wesley Sambai, Kiprotich arap Kibiwott and Gideon Chemiron who are Kibor’s employees.
Kibor has managed to convince the court to strike out documents showing that the land was transferred to his sons, and ordered that they surrender the titles to court authorities.
While testifying, Kibitok, told the court that he was allocated 250 acres by his father and that the sub-division was done by his father on December 2, 1994, in the presence of a surveyor.
He said Kibor also allocated 20 acres to Samitoi Girls Secondary School, an acre to Seiyo PMCA Church and 22 acres for the construction of a dam.
Another son, Ezekiel Kibor, said his father attempted to shoot him when he (Kibor) found him ploughing a section of the disputed land.
Attempted to shoot his son
“It is unfortunate that my father has changed the tune after giving us our lawful inheritance by going to the extent of ordering my driver and workers to vacate the land,” the son told the court.
Mr Kibor who was then sued for attempting to shoot his son was later acquitted after the withdrawal of his gun as a licensed arm owner.
However, Kibor denied the claims, saying it was his son who wanted to attack him with a machete.
“This boy is lying to court since I only removed the gun because my life was in danger as he attacked me while armed with a machete. I reported the matter at Soy Police Station,” said Kibor.
The land in the tussle is situated in Soy Sub County within Uasin Gishu county.
Two years ago Mr Kibor dominated media after divorcing his two wives Naomi Jeptoo and Josphine Jepkoech in 2018.