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Jimi Wanjigi, wife taken to court in Sh400m land row

Wednesday July 29 2020
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Businessman Jimi Wanjigi (right) and his wife Irene who have been dragged to court over a Sh400 million piece of land in Westlands, Nairobi. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By IBRAHIM ORUKO

Businessman Jimi Wanjigi has been dragged to court over a Sh400 million piece of land in Westlands, Nairobi.

City resident Cissy Kalunde Musembi accuses Mr Wanjigi and his wife Irene of attempting to acquire the land illegally.

Ms Musembi wants the Environment and Land Court to stop Aureum Ltd – a firm associated with the pair – from acquiring and selling the 0.818-acre piece at the junction of General Mathenge and Peponi roads.

“I am an innocent third-party buyer of the property. I face threats and egregious prejudice by Mr Wanjigi and his wife who hold parallel titles over the property,” Ms Musembi says in the notice of motion filed last week.

DCI PROBE

She went to court even though the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) is looking into the ownership row.

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Ms Musembi argues that titles held by the Wanjigis do not accord with what was issued by the chief land registrar.

She says a company known as Horizon Hills Ltd was incorporated on November 24, 2006, yet the transfer form of the property from the original owners – Velji Premchand Dodhia and Himanshu Velji Dodhia – to Aureum Ltd was lodged just 13 days later.

Ms Musembi accuses the couple of mocking acquisition of shares from Horizon Hills Ltd by forging the signatures of its directors – Mohamed Hussein Noorani, Zahre Kaneez Noorani and Mohamed Hasanali.

She blames the office of the Attorney-General and the DCI for colluding with Aureum Ltd to take her piece of land.

CANCEL TITLES

Ms Musembi wants the court to cancel titles held by the Wanjigis and the two restrained from offering for sale any portion of the property until the case is heard and determined.

At the centre of the row are two companies that bear the same name and have different registration certificates but lay claim to the property.

Records at the Central Registry show the property belongs to Ms Musembi, who acquired it on November 7, 2018.

Ms Musembi says she bought the property from Horizon Hills Ltd, which was incorporated on July 2, 2004 and which has Mr Henry Njoroge Njenga, Mr David Njenga, Mr Samson Kuria and Mr Samuel Njuguna Chege as directors.

She says she bought the property for Sh220 million after due diligence was conducted by Wambua and Maseno Advocates.

SALE AGREEMENT

On September 12, 2018, she executed a sale agreement and paid Sh92 million through the law firm, which also issued a professional undertaking to the vendor for the Sh128 million balance that was to be settled 30 days after registration of the transfer.

On October 25, 2018, the advocates paid Sh14 million to the Kenya Revenue Authority as stamp duty and the transfer files were booked at the Ministry of Lands.

However, Aureum Ltd says it bought a majority of Horizon Hills shares, thereby acquiring the property too.

Aureum Ltd has produced two transfer documents. One was presented at the ministry on December 5, 2004, two years before Aureum Ltd came into existence. The other was presented at the ministry for valuation on January 21, 2007.

However, both dates fall on a Sunday and an April 8, 2020 letter from the ministry denounces the original transfer instrument and its counterpart.

“Kindly note that government offices...do not work on Sunday. It is clear the original copy of the transfer document and the counterpart are not genuine,” the letter says.

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