Court overturns order on disputed Buruburu church land

Friday June 21 2019

Milimani Law Courts

The Milimani Law Courts in Nairobi as pictured on April 1, 2019. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

SAM KIPLAGAT
By SAM KIPLAGAT
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A magistrate's court has set aside orders allowing businessman Patrick Macharia Nderitu to take over a plot in Nairobi’s Buruburu area, whose ownership a church has claimed.

Glad Tidings Crusade Ministry and other parties allege that they own the property earlier said to be worth Sh100 million.

The order issued on April 10 was set aside on Friday following an application by Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko, through lawyer Harrison Kinyanjui.

Mr Sonko filed the application at the same court last Tuesday, accusing Mr Nderitu's Landmark International Properties Limited of demolishing properties belonging to Glad Tidings and the other parties.

Mr Kinyanjui also noted that the court lacked jurisdiction especially since another case had been filed at the Environment and Land Court.

CONSENT

Mr Nderitu claimed Glad Tidings and its trustees Christine Apiko, Esther Mueni, Fred Agwa and Edward Otieno sold the property to him.

Landmark tabled a list of documents including a sale agreement, a copy of the title deed, a deed of trustees and a certificate of lease in the name of Glad Tidings Crusade.

In her ruling on Friday, Senior Resident Magistrate E. Wanjala noted that although the parties consented, the consent departed from the pleadings they filed in court.

Ms Wanjala further explained that the magistrate who heard the case lacked jurisdiction.

She added that parties failed to disclose that the property was worth Sh19 million and that another matter touching on the same land was pending before the High Court.

SUBMISSIONS

In his submissions, Mr Kinyanjui told the court that Mr Nderitu's case should not have been filed in the first place.

He further noted that it was wrong for a magistrate's court to adjudicate a matter beyond its jurisdiction as it involved property worth Sh100 million.

He also said Mr Nderitu neither obtained a rates clearance certificate from Nairobi nor paid any rates.

Ms Joan Jane Owuor Ochola, a trustee of the church, and Nairobi County sought to join the case as interested parties.

While noting that she was also a trustee of the church, Ms Ochola said she had filed the matter at the High Court, seeking to restrain other trustees from selling the property.

WHAT HAPPENED

When he invaded the land on May 6, the businessman demolished six classrooms at Kinderstart Kindergarten and Primary School in Buruburu Phase IV.

His actions followed the court order that stated, "It is ordered by consent that (Landmark) is hereby allowed to take possession of the suit land, remove any property of the defendants and their agents, employees or any other person acting on their behalf."

Mr Nderitu had claimed that the church, through its trustees, agreed to transfer the property and handover all documents relating to the land to Landmark, within seven days.

He claimed he purchased the property in 2018 for Sh19.5 million but Ms Mueni later denied the sale.

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