Gachagua fights to reclaim Sh1.5bn land

UDA deputy Presidential candidate Rigathi Gachagua. PHOTO | SILA KIPLAGAT | NMG

United Democratic Alliance (UDA) deputy presidential running mate Rigathi Gachagua has sued a retired civil servant over a parcel of land near Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) worth Sh1.5 billion.

Mr Gachagua says Mr John Michael Ohas illegally obtained a title deed in December 2019 and registered it in his company’s name Columbus Two Thousand ltd.

Mr Ohas had initially sued the Mathira MP seeking revocation of his title deed claiming it was fraudulent but he allegedly withdrew the case last month to defeat Gachagua’s plan for a counter-suit.

“After tampering with the records at the Lands office and illegally obtaining the second title and thereby purportedly extinguishing the plaintiff’s title from the records, the defendants then withdrew the suit without the same being determined on merits,” he said through his lawyer Philip Nyachoti.

Mr Gachagua says he purchased the land for Sh24 million from Peter Nduati and Pauline Muringe who owned it through Karandi Farm ltd. He says the duo was allocated the land in 1999 for Sh554,000.

The MP says his land is currently charged at Equity Bank over a loan of Sh200 million.

Mr Ohas, a former director of physical planning in the Ministry of Lands had alleged in his case that he was allocated the plot in 1994 by former President Daniel Moi, among others that included former minister Taita Towett, Francis Maritim and Afro-Anglo Investment.

He says he later learnt that land had been transferred the land to Wamunyoro Investment ltd, where the MP and his wife are listed as directors.

Mr Ohas later sought the intervention of the National Land Commission (NLC) in April 2017 and the chief land registrar and was allegedly advised that he could be assisted by the police and the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC).

The NLC upheld the title in favour of Wamunyoro Investment Ltd and gazetted it in the Kenya Gazette on 17th July 2017.

Mr Gachagua says the NLC’s decision was later affirmed by the High Court in November 2020 but Ohas filed another case but withdrew it in June 2022.

“The plaintiff avers that the withdrawal of the said suit was mischievous and intended to defeat the plaintiff’s right to file a counter-claim,” he said.

He now wants the court to declare him the owner of the property and that the new records at the Ministry of Lands are fraudulent. He is also seeking damages.

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