Court rules disputed land belongs to Nairobi county

A thirty-acre piece of land valued at over Sh300 million whose ownership dispute pitted a State House events provider and three city businessmen belongs to the Nairobi County, a Judge has ruled.

Mr Justice Samson Okong’o said the parcel at Kiambu Road near the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) headquarters belonged to the defunct Nairobi City Council and that the a title deed held by affluent city businessman, John Peter Kamau Ruhangi over the “suit property is doubtful.”

Nairobi County, through its lawyer Titus Koceyo heard that the title held by Mr Ruhangi is a forgery as he did not prove its legality by explaining the steps he followed to acquire it.

Said Justice Okong’o: “It is not sufficient for registered proprietor to produce an instrument of title as proof of ownership. He must go beyond and prove the legality of how he acquired the title.”

The judge went on: “Mr Ruhangi has failed completely to establish that he acquired the suit property lawfully.”

The county government had maintained that it was the legal owner of the 30-acre parcel of land and that the title held by Mr Ruhangi is a forgery.

Mr Ruhangi and two others George Jonathan Maara and David Mburu Githere had named Isaac Wandere, Wander Joy Party World Limited and the NCC as defendants in the case he filed on July 26, last year.

Mr Wandere, the proprietor of Wander Joy Party World Limited, a firm which provides tents, chairs, decorations and other facilities to various State House functions in the Country, had been given a temporary occupation licence (TOL) by the NCC for a period of 25 years for a portion of the land which had been set aside for public utility.

Mr Ruhangi had stated in the case that in 1999 he applied to city council to be allowed to subdivide the parcel of land owned by Mr Maara, Mr Githere and by Gumchem (Kenya) Limited in which he had interests.

NCC allowed the request on condition they would surrender a portion measuring 0.8 hectares for public utility —for the construction of a Nursery School — free of charge.
The land was then divided into three equal portions and Mr Githere sold his portion to Mr Wandere and Wonder Joy Party Wolrd Limited.

The nursery school land was reverted to NCC although Mr Ruhangi requested to be allocated the land to build the Nursery School. He alleged his application was approved then regularised his interest by obtaining documents from Ardhi House.

The judge said Wonder Joy and Mr Wandere whose land is adjacent to the land in dispute started using it as a parking and when Ruhangi demanded they move out they refused sparking the litigation.

Mr Ruhangi had applied to have Wonder Joy and Mr Wandere evicted by the court from the premises.

Justice Okong’o who dismissed the Ruhangi case with costs ruled: “I am not satisfied Ruhangi has proved ownership of the land surrendered to NCC and which he had offered to sell to Wandere at a cost of Sh30 million.”

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