Parties in Sh1.6bn land row to wait for Moi evidence ruling in December

Justice Samson Okong’o will deliver a ruling on December 10. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Justice Samson Okong’o will deliver a ruling on December 10. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Parties battling over the ownership of a Sh1.6 billion land allegedly sold by former President Daniel arap Moi to a company 22 years ago will wait for nine months for a court to determine whether it will accept as evidence a transfer document allegedly signed by the retired head of state.

Justice Samson Okong’o will deliver a ruling on December 10 whether Mr Moi will be asked to appear in court to verify a signature on a transfer document of the 16 hectares of land registered at the Land Registry in 1996.

“I will give a ruling on the admissibility of counter-part of the transfer document bearing the signature of Mr Moi when the hearing resumes on December 10 and 11, 2018,” said Justice Okong’o.

Lawyer George Oraro for Tulip Properties Limited, which says it bought the land from Mr Moi in 1996 at a consideration of Sh25 million urged the judge to accept the counter-part as evidence since the original could not be traced.

“The counter-part is legally acceptable evidence as it a true copy of the original signed by Mr Moi. It is superior evidence. I urge this court to admit it,” he said. “There is no need of summoning Mr Moi to verify the signature.”

Justice Okong’o has been asked by four traders Simon Laboso, Mohammed Nur, Macdonald Makaka and Mohammed Hassan battling over the ownership of 16 hectares in Embakasi, Nairobi, to reject the counter-part (photocopy) saying “it is secondary evidence which is inadmissible in law unless the maker is called upon to verify it in court”.

The transfer document was produced as evidence in the case by Tulip Properties Limited managing director Jaswan Singh Rai who said he witnessed Mr Moi sign both the original and the counter-part after selling the land at a consideration of Sh25 million in May 1996.

Tulip and the four traders are wrangling over the ownership of the land and all have title deeds.

Lawyers William Arusei and Innocent Muganda for the traders urged the judge to reject the counter-part signed by Mr Moi and the unnamed Registrar of Land for the transfer of the property as it is secondary evidence.

But the move to summon Mr Moi was resisted vigorously by Mr Oraro, saying Section 68 (1) (c) of the Land Registration Act recognises a counter-part as superior evidence.

“Section 68 (1) (c) permits the production of a counter-part of an original document as evidence and therefore Mr Moi should not be summoned to appear in court to testify over this transfer document,” he said.