Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has been offered temporary relief after the Environment and Lands court extended an order stopping the transfer of land valued at Ksh1.5 billion.
Justice Ogutu Mboya Monday stopped the Director of Physical Planning at the Ministry of Lands, John Michael Ohas, and his company Columbus 2000 Limited from taking over the property until October 13 when the matter will be heard.
“In view of the fact that the defendant has not sorted the issue of which lawyer will represent him, the court extends the orders that stop the defendants from interfering, selling or transferring the property until the next hearing date,” ruled Mboya.
DP Gachagua is claiming ownership of the disputed five-acre land in Embakasi located next to the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport(JKIA).
Gachagua alleges that Mr Ohas, in his position at the Lands ministry, illegally transferred the land’s title to Columbus 2000 Limited.
“Mr Ohas took advantage of his position to transfer the title of the land to Columbus 2000 Limited where he is the director and deliberately tampered with the records whereby any official search indicates that Mr Gachagua is not the owner,” said Gachagua through his lawyer Philip Nyachoti.
“The property is currently valued at Sh1.5 billion and was used by Mr Gachagua through his company Wamunyoro Investments Ltd as security to obtain a loan of Sh200 million from Equity Bank. Refusing to register him as the land’s owner is causing him losses,” Nyachoti added.
The lawyer also argued that the National Lands Commission in 2016 established that Gachagua and his company Wamunyoro Investments Limited legally acquired the land in 2012 from the original owners.
In his affidavit, DP Gachagua swore that he bought the land from Karandi Farm Limited and Peter Mbugua at a cost of Ksh24 million.
Gachagua said he was surprised when in 2016, Ohas filed a complaint at NLC claiming that he owned the land.
“He [Ohas] claimed that he acquired the land in 1994 but after careful analysis, the commission dismissed his claims and found that my title was legally acquired. Even after the commission dismissed his claims to the land, Ohas has never taken any steps to appeal the decision,” said Gachagua.
Adding: “He fraudulently generated a second title and entered an illegal registration for a company for which he is a director. This was in total disregard of the NLC finding that I am the legal owner of the property having lawfully purchased it from the previous owners.”