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investigativeReprieve For Co-Op Bank CEO In Land Feud With Squatters

Reprieve For Co-Op Bank CEO In Land Feud With Squatters

Gidjoy Investment Limited, a firm associates with Co-Op Bank Chief Executive Officer Gideon Miriuki and his wife, has found a reproved in court after the state prosecution was allowed to table pictorial evidence of damaged Donholm land.

This is after the first witness, Dickson Kitoi, was stood down after it emerged that the exhibit photos in the prosecution’s file did not march what the defence team had.

Kitoi is a supervisor at the Gidjoy Investment Ltd’s farm, which the suspects allegedly invaded.

Members of Sowesava self-help group who had been previously charged with malicious damage to property for demolishing a perimeter fence around Greenspan Estate situated in Donholm belonging to Gidjoy Investments Limited.

In the case, Benita Alando, Peter Keya, Davis Mutuku, Titus Ochieng, Boniface Oduor, Calvince Ochieng, Patrobas Awino, Nick Omondi, and Philemon Otieno are accused of malicious damage.

The prosecution claims that the suspects allegedly damaged the property’s wall on March 27, 2018.

The value of the wall is estimated at Sh144, 000.

At the same time, they face another count of forcible entry into Gidjoy’s property.

The 10 accused persons are tied up to another criminal case surrounding the ownership of the land.

In the other case, former Kayole chief, Alexander Hoops, Patrobas Awino, Peter Gitau, and Peter Njoroge were 2021 charged with five counts of forgery and land fraud

They were accused of attempting to defraud Gidjoy Investments by allegedly forging documents to show they owned a parcel of land.

“On unknown date and place within the Republic of Kenya, jointly with others not before court, with intent to defraud MS Gidjoy Investments Limited land parcel formerly Nairobi/Block 82/7333 now part of amalgamation of parcels Nairobi/Block 82/7813 to Nairobi /Block 82/7856 measuring 11.8 acres situated at Donholm area valued at Sh944 million,” the charge sheet read in part.

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They were also accused of forging a title deed and claiming that it was signed by Rosemary Onyango, a land registrar, and forging an allotment letter of the land alleging to be signed by one P Amiani, a land registration officer.

The two criminal cases are a culmination of a series of court battles over the same land.

In 2019, Hoops alongside others filed a constitutional case against the Attorney General, and then Sowesa Self-help Group filed another case against National Lands Commission and Gidjoy. Meanwhile, Gidjoy filed a case against Zero Point Construction and 69 others and another suit against NLC.

In the cases before the Lands Court, Hoops asked the court to block the police from interfering with their possession of the property. At the same time, they asked Justice Eric Obaga to allow them ‘access their homes.’

They claimed that they were allotted the property in 1998.

In reply, Gidjoy told the court that Hoops and his team were relying on forged documents to claim ownership but the process was reversed after the Ministry discovered that their papers were not genuine.

However, Justice Obaga dismissed the application by Hoops after finding that another judge, Justice Samson Okong’o had raised serious doubts about the authenticity of Sowesa’s allotment documents.

“There are photographs which are annexed to the affidavit of Sergent Wilson Tenai. They show that the property in issue is vacant. There are no buildings and it is therefore clear that the applicants (Hoops, Mugambi, Owino) are not being honest when they claim that they have put up houses on the suit properties which they want access to,” ruled Justice Obaga.

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In the case against NLC, the Gidjoy operations manager explained that it bought the land from Continental Developers Limited.

He told the court that armed gangs had invaded the same on behalf of a self-help group and had subdivided the land to themselves.

However, Sowesava officials maintained that Continental Limited surrendered the parcel of land to the Nairobi County government, upon which they (Sowesava) were then issued with an allotment letter and title deed.

The self help group then went ahead to subdivide the parcel into 100 portions which they were in the process of selling to unsuspecting members of the public.

Since the dispute began, seven high court judges have arbitrated the case pointing at its complexity.

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