Economy

Shell sues City Hall in land row with ex-councillor

Summary

  • Vivo has moved to court in a bid to stop City Hall and Red Kaka, a firm owned by former Woodley Ward representative Peter Kamau Nyutu, from interfering with its ownership of the land.
  • The oil marketer insists that it has owned the land since Kenya’s Independence and that it has the original ownership documents.
  • Red Kaka is yet to respond to the suit.

Oil marketer Vivo Energy, which trades in Kenya as Shell, has accused City Hall of colluding with a former councillor to defraud it of a one-acre piece of land along Ngong Road valued at Sh180 million.

Vivo has moved to court in a bid to stop City Hall and Red Kaka, a firm owned by former Woodley Ward representative Peter Kamau Nyutu, from interfering with its ownership of the land.

The oil marketer says Mr Nyutu’s firm has colluded with City Hall officials to illegally obtain ownership documents by telling the registrar of titles that it had lost the original title deed.

Vivo adds that Red Kaka intends to use the provisional title to sell the land to another company.

Justice John Mutungi has issued temporary orders stopping Red Kaka, City Hall and the registrar of titles from interfering with Vivo’s occupation of the disputed land until the matter is heard.

Red Kaka is yet to respond to the suit.

“The managing director of Red Kaka is a former councillor and it is evident that he abused his position as a public officer to try and fraudulently obtain a property belonging to Vivo. There is a real and present danger that Red Kaka may act on a provisional title hence ignite an elaborate scheme of validating what is otherwise a scam,” Vivo says in suit papers.

Vivo runs one of its Shell petrol stations on the disputed property and has leased out some sections of the remaining subdivisions. It wants the court to revoke an alleged sale of the land to another firm: Ayan Enterprises.

The oil marketer insists that it has owned the land since Kenya’s Independence, and that it has the original ownership documents, and that the reference number quoted in the provisional title belongs to a separate piece of land in Karen.

'Forceful takeover'

Vivo claims Red Kaka has also in the past tried to forcefully take over the land by paying armed thugs to occupy the land. Its company secretary Naomi Assumani adds that complaints have been recorded with the police and that investigations into the alleged forceful takeover are ongoing.

“The purported lease dated August 20, 2007 has no legal sanctity, the same being a forged instrument incapable of vesting any interest in anyone. The land reference number cited in the purported lease is for a property situated in Karen and not Adams Arcade where the suit property is,” Ms Assumani says.

The oil marketer has questioned how City Hall came to be listed in a lease document between it and Red Kaka.

Vivo says City Hall had in a 2011 memo to the city planning department stated that it has never owned the land.