Auctioneer in demolition of Sh80m Westlands home out on bail

Niraj-shah
Niraj-shah

An auctioneer arrested following the demolition of a couple's house in Nairobi’s Westlands area has been released on a cash bail of Sh200,000 after spending one day in custody.

Milimani senior principal magistrate Gilbert Shikwe ordered Mr Zacharia Baraza to deposit the cash bail after rejecting an application by the police to detain him for 14 days, as they conclude investigations into the matter.

The house belonging to Niraj Sha and his wife Avani Shah was demolished by unknown people and the police later arrested Mr Baraza, who claimed he had a court order to evict the family, who have allegedly owned the property for the last 46 years.

Mr Shah said he lost over Sh70 million during the destruction last Friday. The family was allegedly given 30 minutes to remove their household items before the house was demolished. 

In the ruling, the magistrate wondered why the police would need more days yet they have already established the value of the property and the loss caused during the demolition. 

In seeking to detain the auctioneer for two weeks, the police said the family is yet to recover items that were allegedly stolen and some of Mr Baraza’s accomplices were yet to be arrested. 

The magistrate directed Mr Baraza to be reporting to the investigating officer, whenever he is required.

Separately, a judge has ordered Mr Baraza to swear an affidavit, explaining the circumstances that led to the demolition of the house.

Justice Oscar Angote said Mr Baraza of Siuma Auctioneers should file the affidavit in court by Friday, explaining the circumstances under which the house was demolished. 

There has been conflicting information as to whether the eviction order was issued by a magistrate. 

There is also another court order, barring a company alleged to be claiming the property, from accessing the house, which stands on School Lane, pending the hearing of the case.

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