Mr Daniel arap Moi has denied selling a 20.3-acre piece of land in Muthaiga, Nairobi, to businessman George Kiongera.
This adds to the confusion in the already complex battle over the ownership of the property, which is also claimed by the United States International University-Africa and Equity Bank CEO James Mwangi.
The retired president says he has not sold the land, and that Dr Kiongera, Mr Mwangi and the USIU-A were conned. In fresh filings, Mr Moi has accused Mr Andrew Sunkuli, a brother of his former aide, Mr Julius Sunkuli, and lawyer Samson Omwanza Ombati, of selling the prime land without his consent.
The transfer papers produced in court by Mr Mwangi’s firm, Muthaiga Luxury Homes Ltd, show that he bought the land for Sh300 million in 2012, with Mr Ombati acting on behalf of Mr Moi.
The lawyer and his firm, Omwanza & Nyasimi Company Advocates, are being probed for fraud by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) following a complaint by Mr Mwangi’s Muthaiga Luxury Homes.
“Mr Moi, therefore, claims that he is the proprietor of the parcel of land and continues to be in possession thereof as from the date that he purchased the land up to date. Mr Moi disputes having sold the suit property to Mr Mwangi or to any other person to the exclusion of Mr Mwangi or any other person,” Mr Moi’s lawyer Fred Ngatia says.
The claim has seen Dr Kiongera move for joinder of another law firm, Ochieng, Onyango, Kibet & Ohaga Advocates (OOOK Law). He says OOOK Law partner Jinaro Kibet attested to witnessing Mr Moi sign documents showing he bought the land for Sh500 million.
Dr Kiongera’s lawyer Duncan Okatch says in court papers that Mr Kibet “personally and in his professional capacity as an advocate, did witness and indeed attested to the former President appending his signature to both the agreement of sale and the transfer documents dated January 27, 2016 and June 6, 2016 respectively and indeed in respect to the agreement, he issued a certificate therein so stating that he witnessed the former President append his signature.”
Dr Kiongera, USIU and Mr Mwangi filed separate suits claiming ownership of the land. The university’s and Dr Kiongera’s suits were consolidated into one. While Mr Mwangi’s suit was not merged, it was set to be heard at the same time as the consolidated case between February 18 and February 26.
Mr Mwangi says in suit papers filed in court that he bought the 20-acre plot from Mr Moi in February 2012 for Sh300 million, after confirming that the former President legitimately owned it.
Dr Kiongera says he bought the land from Mr Moi in 2016, for Sh500 million through OOOK Law.
Meanwhile, USIU-A says it bought the land from ICEA in 1998. The university says it has a paper trail showing that DPS International bought the land from Mr Moi in 1988, before selling it to ICEA Insurance in 1990. It insists it bought the land from ICEA in 1999 for Sh90 million.
Dr Kiongera has enjoined Ndung’u, Njoroge & Kwatch Advocates and lawyer Paul Ndung’u, who acted for DPS when it allegedly bought the land from Mr Moi in 1988. Mr Ndung’u, author of the Ndung’u Report, had earlier said he witnessed Mr Moi sign the transfer documents.
Dr Kiongera has accused Mr Ndung’u of professional misconduct for failing to disclose that he was a shareholder in DPS International, which is at the centre of the dispute.
The former President insists that he still holds two original title deeds for the disputed property, and that they have never been consolidated into one. Mr Moi also says he has never received any money as payment for the property.
The four-way fight started in August, 2016, when Dr Kiongera tried to develop the land, leading to a fight with USIU-A. Soon after the two parties went to court, Mr Mwangi also emerged and laid claim to the property.