Commission gets right to bar sale of Sh45m property under probe

Residents scavenge for building materials from one of the houses demolished by the government in Milimani Estate, Kakamega County. [Benjamin Sakwa, Standard]

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has secured an order barring the sale or transfer of land in Milimani, Kakamega Town, with a Sh30 million house.

The Environment and Land Court in Kakamega gave the agency time to investigate possible fraudulent dealings on the Sh15 million land.

“There is no dispute that the property was initially public land and that an allotment letter was issued which led to the present title. Resolution of the dispute will depend to a large extent on the process that yielded the titles,” said Justice Dalmus Ohungo.

“In doing so, however, care must be taken to avoid excessively stifling the rights of the current registered proprietor beyond what is necessary to attain preservation. The current registered proprietor should be free to retain occupation and day-to-day use of the property but without alienating, transferring, charging, leasing, sub-dividing it or disposing of it, pending determination of the case.”

The administrator of the estate, Ahmed Rashid Jibril, told the court that the land belonged to his late brother Esmael Mohamed Jibril who purchased it from one Lucas Nandih Shamala at Sh15 million “and our family constructed a six-bedroom house on it at a cost of over Sh30 million. When my brother died the property was transferred to Ibado Estates Limited where I am the director.”

EACC, however, maintained the parcel of land was reserved by the government for staff houses. 

“Investigations established that on July 28, 1999, Wilson Gacanja commissioned the alienation of the land to Shamala with full knowledge and in disregard that the parcel was already committed and in actual possession of the State Department of Housing,” said the commission.

The agency says a lease was registered at the District Land Registry in Kakamega on August 17, 1999, and a certificate issued on the same date to Shamala. But EACC claims the certificate was fraudulent since the land “was not available for allocation considering that it was already alienated for government housing”.

In a rebuttal, Shamala says he bought the land from Peter Raburu “and that a title was later issued in my name on August 17, 1999. I in turn sold the land to Esmael Mohamed Jibril on August 7, 2019, who passed away.”

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