Ouko accuses law school of laxity in prime property row

Auditor-General Edward Ouko. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Auditor-General Edward Ouko. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Auditor-General Edward Ouko has accused the Kenya School of Law (KSL) of doing little to conclude an 11-year battle that has blocked the institution from repossessing a multi-million shilling home in upmarket Kilimani Estate in Nairobi currently in the hands of Standard Assurance Limited.

Mr Ouko says the property was allocated to individuals, including an ex-KSL principal, during the Moi era in 1997 who later sold it to the company.

The anti-graft agency termed the deal irregular, prompting a court suit that has remained unresolved since 2007.

The property, which could now be worth more than Sh100 million, was the official residence of the KSL principal.

“No effort appears to have been made by the school (KSL) to have the case expeditiously dispensed with and the property reverted to the school,” said Mr Ouko. The property on Bishops Road was allocated in 1997 to M/s Rockville Limited, whose directors include the former principal of the school.

“The property was later sold to Standard Assurance (K) Ltd on June 12, 2002, at a consideration price of Sh50 million who then charged it to Diamond Trust Kenya Limited,” said Mr Ouko in a qualified audit opinion of the KSL books of accounts for the year to June 2016.

He said the matter was reported to the then Kenya Anti-Corruption  Commission who on January 26, 2007, made an application to the High Court under section 56 of the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act, 2003.

“The court ordered preservation of the property and restrained the respondents from selling, disposing of, wasting or in any other way dealing with the property for six months,” he said.

The chief government auditor has also cited KSL management for failing to recover a prime property measuring 6.18 hectares in Embakasi area that was set aside by the government in 1990 for future development of the school.

Mr Ouko said despite KSL paying all the fees and charges totalling Sh6,122 vide cheque No.019198 dated September 8, 1999, no title was issued.

“In a turn of events, there was communication between the Director/Chief Executive and Secretary, Council for Legal Education and the former Permanent Secretary Ministry of Lands that the Council for Legal Education had resolved to relinquish its interest in the property and that the plot should revert to the Commissioner of Lands for reallocation,” Mr Ouko said.

The council also sought a refund of the fees and charges paid in the process of acquiring title to the property.

“Despite the resolution to relinquish its interest on the property which is referred to as L.R.No29/5651 in the correspondences, the school again changed the decision to relinquish interest and wrote to the National Land Commission requesting a review of the matter…and to cancel title deeds of the plot,” Mr Ouko said.