New twist in Uhuru kin Sh3bn land case

The long-running legal dispute pitting two companies belonging to two cousins of President Uhuru Kenyatta and a top lender has taken a new twist after a Nairobi lawyer disowned the signed consent document that led to the auction of a Sh3 billion coffee farm.

Meanwhile, the police have now moved in to investigate how the consent order — whose original has never been found — was obtained after Nairobi lawyer Gideon Kaumbuthu Meenye disowned the document, which has all along been relied on by the courts.

In his letter to the Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet, the lawyer asks him “to cause an inquiry into the allegations that I acted for Benjoh, as it is obvious that someone is playing some mischief. The allegations are impacting on me negatively”.

Former Gatundu MP Ngengi Muigai and his brother Captain (Rtd) Kungu Muigai have been fighting in courts for the last 25 years contesting the sale of 443-acre Muiri Coffee Estate in Thika.

The land was auctioned by KCB to Bidii Kenya Limited to recover Sh70 million which the brothers contested.

KCB has all along relied on the consent note ostensibly signed by the Nairobi lawyer who is alleged to have been acting on behalf of Muiri Estate.

The two brothers have all along said that they had not sought the services of the lawyer.

In the impugned consent recorded on May 4, 1992 by Justice Erastus Githinji, Benjoh was allowed to negotiate for the sale of the principal security by private treaty and discharge the loan or there be a rescheduling of the loan repayment or such other terms the court shall direct.

While that consent decree was set aside by Justice Githinji in 1997, saying there were no records to support the issue, it was reinstated on March 1998 by Appeal judges Richard Kwach, Philip Tunoi and Samuel Bosire who allowed KCB to sell the farm to realise its loan.

Now the Nairobi lawyer has disowned the document at the heart of the case.

“I did not execute the said agreement nor could I possibly have done so since I was not the advocate on record, had not been instructed by advocates on record to hold brief nor had I been instructed by Benjoh/ Muiri to appear and or represent them in the said case,” Mr Meenye says in the affidavit filed in the Court of Appeal on February 22.

Ngengi’s Muiri Coffee Estate had guaranteed Benjoh Amalgamated a limited guarantee of Sh11.5 million to start a flower farm in Nyandarua County and KCB had advanced the company a loan of Sh23 million.

In the fresh application filed by lawyer Kyalo Mbobu, Benjoh and Muiri are now relying on Mr Meenye’s letter to reopen a case that has been in virtually all the courts.

They argue that their lawyer at all times was DM Kinyua and that Mr Meenye was not its lawyer on record.

Further, they say that lawyer DM Kinyua never asked Mr Meenye to hold his brief in the case.

With these disclosures, it will be interesting to see what will become of all the judgements that have been entered in the 25 year-old case.

The two brothers say the sale was based on fraudulent accounts.

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