The Environment and Lands Court in Milimani has ordered the return of a Ksh430 million public land grabbed by former Commissioner of Lands Sammy Silas Komen Mwaita.
The recovered land, parcel Number L.R. No. 209/6337 I.R. No. 85631 measuring approximately 0.8979 Ha, had been reserved as an interchange for Mombasa Road and Eastern Bypass (at Cabanas).
In her ruling, Lady Justice Komingoi of the Environment and Land Court issued a permanent injunction restraining Redwood Properties Ltd, associated with Mwaita, its servants or agents from alienating transferring charging or in any other manner dealing with the suit property.
"A declaration that the grant made to the 1st Defendant on or about 28/2/2001 in respect of the suit property was fraudulent and illegal and is void and did not vest any lawful title on the 1st Defendant. A declaration that the transfer of the grant to the 2nd Defendant on or about 30/3/2001 in respect of the suit property was made fraudulently and illegally and is void and did not vest any lawful title on the 2nd Defendant," Justice Komingoi ruled.
The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) conducted investigations which established that the land was government land planned, reserved and approved for a road reserve within Nairobi area and was thus not available for alienation.
Mwaita and the then Registrar of Titles S.K. Wangila(deceased) transferred the land to Wak Ltd as a grant for a period of 99 years with effect from June 1, 1998.
Investigations further revealed that on March 30, 2001, Wak Ltd in conspiracy with and consent of Mwaita transferred the suit property to Redwood Properties.
EACC submitted that Wak Ltd was non-existent at the time of allocation, meaning it had not been incorporated as a legal entity according to the evidence by Registrar of Companies thus lending credence to conspiracy and collusion between the accused.
"The Commission further on 15th September, 2008 successfully moved the Honourable court for interlocutory orders aimed at preserving the suit property from further interference to await the hearing and determination of the recovery suit. The hearing of the suit has taken a long albeit rewarding route outliving the initial investigation team but whose input has been indispensable. There has also been a number of substitutions to the Commission witnesses," EACC said in a statement.
The court also issued an order rectifying by cancelling the entries made in the grant and transfer in favour of Wak Limited and Redwood Properties on February 28, 2001, and March 30, 2001, respectively and restoring the suit property to the government.