Companies

Sh2bn city property row intensifies

case

A Nairobi court has stopped two Reunion Island investors from taking over management of a Sh2 billion property firm, pending hearing of a suit by a Kenyan businessman who claims a stake in the premises. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Summary

  • A Nairobi court has stopped two Reunion Island investors from taking over management of a Sh2 billion property firm, pending hearing of a suit by a Kenyan businessman who claims a stake in the premises.
  • Milimani Chief Magistrate Isaac Orenge stopped Richland Properties, a company affiliated with the two investors, from collecting rent from tenants of Elysee Plaza pending the hearing of the application by Ravasam Development Company through its major shareholder Nicholas Sankok.
  • The magistrate directed the case to be heard Friday.

A Nairobi court has stopped two Reunion Island investors from taking over management of a Sh2 billion property firm, pending hearing of a suit by a Kenyan businessman who claims a stake in the premises.

Milimani Chief Magistrate Isaac Orenge stopped Richland Properties, a company affiliated with the two investors, from collecting rent from tenants of Elysee Plaza pending the hearing of the application by Ravasam Development Company through its major shareholder Nicholas Sankok.

The magistrate directed the case to be heard Friday.

The property dispute has been raging in court for close to a decade with each party, friends-turned-foes, accusing the other of trying to take over the management of the building illegally.

Mr Orenge’s order was requested to quell the chaos that was building up at the property.

Before Mr Sankok took over, the control of Ravasam Development Company was in the hands of Ghanaian businessman Eric Agbeko and Kenyan Philip Nyambok.

The latest trouble at the seven-storey building, which houses scores of tenants, started on January 20 when the High Court ruled that Mr Agbeko and Mr Nyambok, who had been managing the building for over a decade, should give way to Farouk Ravate and Justin Samourgompoulle, the investors from Reunion.

Since the building's construction began in the late 2000s, Mr Agbeko and Nyambok have been in charge of Ravasam Development Company, which manages the building.

On January 20, Justice Francis Tuiyott ruled that Mr Ravate and Justin should run Ravasam Development. The Ghanaian and the Kenyan were further ordered to account for all the monies, assets, property and affairs of Ravasam within 90 days.

After losing the case, the two moved to the Court of Appeal but before it could rule on whether the status quo should remain, the other side allegedly attempted to take over the premises forcefully.

At the Appellate Court, Mr Agbeko and Mr Nyambok are seeking to reverse the High Court decision. The recent development saw them seeking to fast-track the hearing of the matter.

“On March 19, the former agents of the disputed property, Richland Properties, forcefully gained access to the premised property and broke (Mr Agbeko’s and Mr Nyambok’s) offices on instructions of Ahmednasir Abdikadir Advocates and Anjarwalla & Khana Advocates,” they said in court pleadings.

Mr Agbeko along with a Mr Nicholas Sankok — who recently become the director of Ravasam Development by acquiring 1,000 ordinary shares — further state in their application that the people causing chaos are “aided by police” and that they have “taken full advantage of the Covid-19 pandemic and the closure of the Judiciary registries”.

In the application, they are pleading with the court to issue a decision earlier than its scheduled June 19 date.