Former Lugari MP and 2017 presidential candidate Cyrus Jirongo has received the court’s nod to recover Sh1.7 million in legal fees from his former business partners and a firm that was at the centre of a Sh50 million land dispute.
This is after the firm, Soy Developers Limited (SDL), together with Mr Sammy Boit Kogo and Ms Antoinnette Boit, lost their bids to stop the seizure of their assets by way of warrants of attachment.
They also wanted to be allowed to pay Mr Jirongo the debt in instalments. But Justice Josephine Mongare dismissed the request and also vacated a status quo order issued on April 26, 2022. She said the request lacked merit.
The ruling paves way for the politician to demand legal costs amounting to Sh1,791,702 accrued at the Supreme court in the long-standing land dispute that stemmed from claims of forgery of signatures.
Upon conclusion of the case on July 16, 2021, the apex court ruled that SDL, Mr Kogo and Ms Boit should jointly pay Mr Jirongo.
On April 20, 2022, they moved to the High Court seeking an order staying the enforcement of Mr Jirongo’s certificate of taxation and also proposing to pay through instalments.
They told the court that Mr Jirongo had taken steps to recover the costs despite the status quo order being in force. They said since the status quo order had no timelines set by the court, the enforcement activities of Mr Jirongo were an illegality and a violation of the order.
Justice Mongare said the court had not expressly set a timeline as to how long the order on status quo was to be maintained, the order was not infinite.
The tussle that led to the legal fees dispute involved a land transaction in 1991. Mr Jirongo agreed with Mr Kogo and Ms Boit through SDL for the sale of plot LR No 209/11151 in Upperhill, Nairobi, for Sh20 million.
Mr Jirongo paid a Sh10 million deposit via banker's cheque drawn from Barclays Bank of Kenya. On December 13, 1991, he charged the suit property to City Finance Bank Limited to secure a Sh30 million loan.
On October 21, 1992, he again charged it to Post Bank Credit Limited for Sh50 million.
A dispute arose when Mr Kogo and Ms Boit in 2015 alleged that Mr Jirongo, while fraudulently presenting himself as a director of SDL, executed a charge dated September 25, 1992, in favour of Post Bank Credit Ltd, which he used to secure an overdraft facility for his company, Cyperr Projects International Ltd.