Irony of Lands Court judge fighting to reclaim property from grabbers

Justice Sila Munyao.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

An Environment and Lands Court Judge has found himself fighting to save his property from individuals he has accused of grabbing.

Justice Sila Munyao, currently stationed at the Mombasa Law Courts, is embroiled in a court battle with two individuals over the ownership of a prime parcel of land in Naka area within Nakuru Town East Sub-County.

The judge, together with his wife Linda Chepkurui Ruto, have filed a petition before the Nakuru ELC court seeking to be declared owners of a parcel known as Nakuru municipality block 23/728 which was allegedly grabbed by Ms Sally Cherutich and Peter Odande.

Through his lawyer Njuguna Matiri, Justice Munyao has accused the two individuals of conspiring with the lands office to fraudulently procure the preparation of a fake lease and certificate of lease with the aim of dispossessing it from him.

He further claims the defendants had illegally tampered with court records causing the disappearance of genuine records which indicate he is the owner of the suit property.

Justice Munyao claims he bought the parcel in 2010 and was in the process of developing it.

Found 'intruders'

The court heard that in 2018, he visited the property only to find people digging it up with the intention of erecting a fence.

The workers referred him to their boss Mr Odande, who claimed to be the owner after purchasing it from Ms Cherutich.

Justice Munyao further told the court that he went to the lands office only to discover that the Nakuru lands registry supervised the mysterious disappearance and tampering of court records, leading to the fraudulent processing of a new lease.

“It is probable that the Nakuru lands registry has similarly caused the disappearance and falsification of genuine records of title held by the plaintiffs in order to perpetrate and cement the fraud herein,” said Mr Matiri.

Justice Munyao has further sued the Chief land registrar, the Nakuru District Land registrar and the Attorney-General.

He wants the court to declare him the genuine owner, order reconstruction and restoration of the register containing his records as well as nullification of the title held by the defendants.

Ms Cherutich and Mr Odande have, however, denied the claim which they termed false and misrepresentation of facts.

They filed a counter-claim maintaining their claim on the land which they allegedly bought in 1997.

Ms Cherutich claims to have sold the land to Mr Odande in 2018 who was in the process of fencing it off before they were interrupted by Justice Munyao.

Through their lawyer Wambeyi Makomere, the defendants want the court to declare them the legal owners and pay all the profits and rent accruing from tenant occupation from the month of October 2018.

The hearing will proceed on January 9 next year.