Nairobi lawyer hits back in Sh500m Karen land case

Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE
Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE 

A Nairobi lawyer, Guy Spencer Elms, has accused the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) of pushing for his prosecution over a disputed piece of land in Karen valued at Sh500 million before concluding investigations into the matter.

Mr Elms says investigators have never asked him to record a statement to clarify allegations that he forged his deceased client’s will.

He adds that the detectives have neither taken statements from witnesses to the will, or from the law firm he worked for when the document was prepared and signed.

Mr Elm accuses the DCI of taking sides with businesswoman Agnes Mugure before carrying out proper investigations to verify whether sale documents she produced contain legitimate signatures of his deceased client — Roger Bryan Robson.

Detectives claim that two forensic experts examined the will Mr Elms produced, alongside a sale agreement between Ms Mugure and Mr Robson for the disputed property.

Both forensic experts held that the signatures of Mr Robson on Ms Mugure’s sale documents were legitimate while those on the will Mr Elms produced were forged, according to the DCI.

“The said decision to charge Mr Elms was based on unverified conclusions that the signatures contained in the conveyance, sale agreement and acknowledgement receipts as presented by Ms Mugure were the authentic signatures whereas those of the deceased (Mr Robson) contained in the will dated March 24, 1997 and the power of attorney dated July 28, 2010 were forgeries.

Mr Elms says his arrest and prosecution is solely aimed at injuring the reputation of his law firm — Raffman Dhanji Elms & Virdee Advocates.

“In addition, the respondents have not obtained any statements of the witnesses to the will of the deceased rebutting the fact that they witnessed the deceased append his signature on the said will and that their signatures therein are genuine,” Mr Elms says.

The lawyer has sued the DCI and Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko to stop his arrest over the dispute.

Mr Elms has in a separate suit in the Land Court sued Ms Mugure claiming that she forcefully took possession of the land in 2013 after demolishing structures that had been developed on it.

The businesswoman claims to have bought the land from the deceased, Mr Robson, in 2011 for Sh100 million.

Detectives say they have obtained a statement from another lawyer, Michael Osundwa Sakwa, stating that he drew a conveyance between Ms Mugure and the deceased, Mr Robson on November 18, 2011.

They add that an official at the Land registry — Peter Mburu — has also recorded a statement in which he confirms that the disputed property was legally transferred from Mr Robson to Ms Mugure.

But Mr Elms says his client had charged the land to Habib Bank for a loan and that the lender last year said it was not aware of any ownership changes regarding the prime property.

He insists that the taxman had also blocked any transfer of the land owing to a tax debt Mr Robson was yet to fulfill hence the sale Ms Mugure is claiming to have executed with his client could not be genuine.