The late controversial businessman Jacob Juma has been ordered to pay two business persons Sh. 50 million for grabbing their land worth Sh. 500 million.
This ruling was delivered by the Environment and Land Court judge Loice Komingoi.
In the ruling, the court determined that Juma had grabbed and illegally occupied 18 acres of land in Loresho belonging to the complainants, Ashok Shah and Hitenkumar Raja.
“Juma unlawfully interfered and grabbed the property from 2008, when the prime land in Loresho, Nairobi, was valued at Sh. 252 million. I am satisfied that the complainants have suffered damages for trespass into their property and are entitled to compensation of Sh. 50 million,” the court ruled.
Juma died on May 6, 2016 in an unclear case of murder whose motive has never been solved.
The court ruled that Juma had colluded with some officials at the Lands registry to illegally obtain the title and ordered his dependants and agents to immediately vacate the property and hand it back to Shah and Raja.
The two businessmen had told the court that they bought the land from Liney Company Limited, which were the original owners of the piece of land, having acquired it from the government in 1993.
But before they could take possession, Juma fraudulently procured a fake title to claim ownership and went ahead to block them from accessing the property by constructing the perimeter wall in 2008.
In response that was filed in July 2009, Juma had claimed that the land was allocated to him in 1992 by the Commissioner of Lands.
He was then issued with a deed plan which he used to acquire the title deed in 1994.
After his death in 2016, his widow Miriam Wairimu, took over the case and testified in court in December 2019.
She said that Juma had legally acquired the land in 1992 by following the right procedures and was issued with a valid title deed.
But the Ministry of Lands, through state counsel Allan Kamau told the court the original land documents were stolen and suspected that Juma might have used the lost documents to fake ownership.
Kamau confirmed to court that the original records from the Commissioner of Lands and the Registrar of Titles showed that the land was given to Liney Company Limited, which later sold it to Shah and Raja.
“The discrepancies in Juma’s claim for ownership show a well-organised syndicate to misrepresent facts and defraud the genuine owners of their property. “The letter of allotment proves the fraud the deceased Juma attempted to commit against the real owners,” Justice Komingoi ruled.
The court determined that a forensic document examiner had proved that the signature on Juma’s title was a forgery.
The court then declared that the title registered in Juma’s name was fake and fraudulent, and that his widow had no legal right to claim inheritance.
However, the court did not pronounce if the Sh. 50 million fine was to be paid by Ms. Wairimu or not.