DP Ruto’s Weston Hotel appeals land ownership verdict


Weston Hotel Nairobi on Langa’ata Road in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Weston Hotel has moved to the Court of Appeal over a parcel of land in which the facility stands, faulting a judge of the High Court who insisted on hearing a petition filed by a state agency.

In the appeal, Weston Hotel which belongs to Deputy President William Ruto, says it was dissatisfied by a ruling issued in March this year by Justice Benard Eboso, allowing the petition by te Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) to proceed for hearing.

The hotel management, Priority Ltd and Monene Investment, wanted the suit by KCAA dismissed arguing that the authority erred by filing a fresh suit instead of filing an appeal against a decision by the National Land Commission, dated January 2019.

In the decision, NLC directed Weston to compensate KCAA for the land at the current rates. But on March 2, Justice Eboso dismissed the objection by Weston and stated that Environment and Land Court had jurisdiction to hear the case and that the NLC decision was not binding.

Through senior counsel Ahmednasir Abdullahi, Weston has faulted the judge saying he failed to address pertinent questions, such as jurisdiction and instead digressed and made a finding on a matter that was not argued before him.

Weston further said the judge failed to determine the issues brought before him by the parties and instead framed for his own issues and gave his interpretation.

“In the process the learned judge determined issues that he did not invite the appellant and the other parties to address him on before his determination. The determination by the learned judge of the issues that were not before him caused grave constitutional breach on the appellant’s right to fair hearing and trial,” the appeal reads.

The hotel management says the judge unilaterally picked on and determined a question that was not before him and made a finding that the decision by NLC was not binding and the appeal process was optional and not mandatory.

In the ruling rendered, Justice Eboso noted that NLC itself acknowledged that it lost its mandate to revoke titles under section 14 of the NLC Act and that it can only give recommendations and advisories for alternative dispute resolutions (mediation) or to courts for arbitration.