The saga surrounding the ownership of Caxton House on Kenyatta Avenue is back in the limelight with Sayani Investments alleging a plot to dispossess them.
One of the firm’s four directors, Mr Karim Jetha, said they had sought a renewal of the lease, which the National Lands Commission (NLC) had approved, but there were fraudulent efforts to issue a grant to other people.
The property is among those in Nairobi targeted by “new owners” on the pretext that their leases had expired.
According to Mr Jetha, there is a scheme to transfer three parcels of land — LR 209/923, LR 209/924, LR 209/925 — on which the property stands, to entities named Sadhani Ltd and Keibukwo Investment Ltd.
Even as Mr Jetha described the claimants to the land as fraudsters, investigations revealed that the entities have directed one of the tenants to start paying rent to them.
In 2014, Sayani sought court orders to quash Deed Plan No. 356256 issued by the Director of Survey for the consolidation of the three plots.
READ: 50 tenants leave disputed Caxton House
It also wanted NLC and the Chief Registrar of Titles, the second and third respondents in the suit, respectively, stopped from issuing grants in respect to the property or plots to any other party.
High Court Judge Roselyne Aburili granted the orders and also directed the second and third respondents to consider issuing grants to Sayani for a renewal term of 50 years as per the approval for renewal granted in 2007.
Mr Jetha said the law gave them preference as existing owners (pre-emptive rights) and challenged those claiming ownership to provide evidence.
Surprisingly, all the files at the Land Registry relating to the property, as well as the firm’s records at the Companies Registry, have reportedly gone missing — ostensibly to misrepresent that the company no longer exists.
In a letter in March 2015, Sayani, through its lawyer Fred Ojiambo of Kaplan and Stratton Advocates, sought Attorney-General Githu Muigai’s intervention to restore and secure all company records at the registry.
“The entire family files at Nyayo House have also gone missing with a clear view to destroy all trace of potential children and heirs of Mr and Mrs Sayani,” read the letter.
Con men take advantage of loophole in law to take over property whose leases have expired.