Confession: "I bought, sold Sh100 million nonexistent Ngong land'
On February 14, 2002, Mr Arthur Nyamu Wamwiri died at the Kenyatta National Hospital, where he was undergoing treatment.
Following his death, his widow, Ms Lucy Wanjiku Nyamu, and their eldest son, Mr Anthony Wamwiri Nyamu, were allowed by the High Court to be the administrators of his estate.
Documents obtained by Nation of succession cause number 2903 of 2002 show that mother and son were made administrators of his estate on March 17, 2003.
They were issued with the certificate of confirmation of grant.
Things were running smoothly until a Mr Kioni Njuho seized the property without their knowledge. Mr Njuho, in an ongoing investigation that has left officers attached to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) puzzled, managed to alter records at the Lands office in Ngong, making it hard to identify the real owner of the property in Kisaju, Kajiado County.
The history of the five-acre property, which is clearly recorded in a series of documents that are in our possession, shows that it was sold to Mr Wamwiri in 1988 through a bank in Nairobi.
A sale agreement in our possession shows that the land belonged to Mr David Njane Ruiyi and he sold it to Mr Wamwiri at a cost of Sh287,500 on December 14, 1988.
The law firm that acted for both seller and buyer was Githuka, Mbugua and Company Advocates and the completion date of the contract on matters of the land was January 30, 1989.
On May 18, 2008, Mr Nyamu was issued a title deed to the land as the registered absolute proprietor. A copy of the title deed was handed over to then Kajiado District Lands Registrar.
All was well until 2018 when Mr Njuho, who is now in hiding, started selling the land to unsuspecting buyers. One day, it caught the attention of neighbours, who quickly alerted Mr Nyamu, telling him that all was not well.
Mr Nyamu then undertook a search at the land's office in Ngong, Kajiado County, so as to ascertain that the documents that he had were up to date.
On February 7, 2018, he was given a certificate of the official search, which clearly showed that he was the owner of the land. He ignored the issue until 2020 when his neighbours again told him that some people were still pretending to own the piece of land and had already sub-divided it.
He proceeded to the Lands office in Ngong where he made a request that a search be conducted on the land, and this is when he got the shock of his life.
The search results took long to show who the owner of the land was, and he never received any feedback, which prompted him to write a letter to the Registrar of Lands in Ngong. The letter was given to us by a source within the Lands office in Ngong.
“I am the legitimate owner of the above parcel of land. I applied for a search on August 7, 2020, and up to date no results have been attained. I have been warned by my neighbours that unscrupulous people are making [visits to] the land pretending to be the owners with intentions of selling my land,” part of the letter to the office read.
He further asked the office to speed up the process so that appropriate action was taken but this never yielded any results.
At some point, Mr Nyamu alerted the people who had already purchased the land from Mr Njuho that they had been duped.
It is then that Mr Boru Adam Kampicha, who was the first buyer of the land, decided to file a complaint with the DCI headquarters on what had transpired.
According to the ongoing investigations, Mr Kampicha had bought the five acres from Mr Njuho at Sh14 million. The current market price of the land is Sh100 million.
By the time he was heading to the DCI, the land had been subdivided into 13 plots each measuring 50ft by 100ft.
He had sold part of the land to four others — Mr Mohamed Salim, Mr Mohamed Abdirashid, Mr Mohamed Shaflow and Mr Alex Njuguna. Mr Salim told Nation he bought the land for Sh8 million.
“How will I even get this money back, the matter is with the DCI and we hope they will assist us to get justice,” Mr Salim said.
He had bought five plots with title numbers that have now been proven to be fake; 97365, 97366, 97367, 97370 and 97371. This means each plot cost Sh1.6 million. Mr Omar bought one plot under title number 97364 while Mr Shaflow also purchased a similar piece under title number 97363.
Mr Njuguna and Mr Jeremiah Charles each bought a plot and they were given titles numbers 97368 and 97369. The remaining four plots were still under the name of Mr Kampicha when the DCI officers pounced.
All buyers now hold fake title deeds, a matter that has put the Register of Lands office in Ngong on the spot. Sleuths from the Land Fraud Unit are working round the clock to find out what might have taken place leading to the whole confusion.
A detective privy to the ongoing investigation and who spoke in confidence as they are not authorised to speak to the media said that they believe that Mr Njuho worked in cohorts with some officials of the Lands office in Ngong.
“There is no way that one can be the owner of the land for a period of over ten years then something is changed, and he cannot get search results when he asks for them. It means that someone worked with Mr Njuho, who is the main suspect in this case,” said the officer.
Nation has established that, during the investigations, the DCI wrote a letter to the bank that oversaw the transactions, and which confirmed that the land was indeed sold to Mr Wamwiri by Mr Njane.
In the letter, the DCI wanted to know whether Mr Njane had a loan with the bank alongside other aspects of the transactions.
The same information was shared with Mr Kampicha who the first person was to buy the land from Mr Njuho and on August 25, 2022, he swore an affidavit saying that he had been duped and issued with a fake title deed.
“That I swear this affidavit to state that I am no longer interested in the said property and that I am willing to give all the necessary documentation with regards to the said property,” part of the sworn affidavit reads.
The puzzle that the DCI is trying to unravel is that Mr Njuho has never been arrested and his whereabouts remain unknown.