Deputy President William Ruto has been given 15 days to enter an appearance in a suit questioning his controversial ownership of a land on which he built the Weston Hotel.
The directions were contained in a letter to the DP by the High Court’s deputy registrar. In the letter, he also notifies Mr Ruto of the suit filed against him by land rights activist Martin Muriithi Njeru.
Mr Njeru is seeking to compel the DP to surrender the land on which the hotel stands back to the government.
“You are required within 15 days to enter an appearance in the suit and should you fail to do so within the period, the suit will proceed and a judgment may be given in your absence,” said the deputy registrar.
The letter instructed Mr Ruto to either enter an appearance personally or through his advocates.
Mr Njeru sued Mr Ruto for allegedly grabbing the Weston Hotel land. He said he has sufficient reasons to believe Mr Ruto illegally acquired the land from the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority and should be ordered to return it to the government.
“Mr Ruto has publicly admitted that he owns Weston Hotel which is built on public land. Despite being aware of the illegal acquisition of the land, Mr Ruto has ignored public outcry concerning his illegal acts,” said Njeru.
Mr Njeru wants the court to order the DP to step aside pending investigation into the alleged land grab, arguing that Mr Ruto occupies an influential position and is likely to interfere with investigations if still in office.
He also wants Mr Ruto stopped from dealing, alienating or transferring the Weston Hotel land until the dispute surrounding the land’s acquisition is determined.
The case will be heard on October 6.