Former Kiambu Governor William Kabogo has lost ownership of a piece of land located in Nairobi's Westlands estate estimated to be worth 3.5 billion shillings.
The High Court on Wednesday ruled that Kabogo used his Caroget Investments firm to fraudulently acquire the prime property and in addition to surrendering the land, was ordered to pay damages totaling to Sh100 million to Aster Holdings Limited for the illegal occupation of the land.
Justice Elijah Obaga directed Kabogo to hand over the 5.2-acre parcel of land located along Mvuli Road with immediate effect. “A declaration is hereby given that Caroget Investment Limited unlawfully and illegally occupied and took possession of the suit property and these acts amount to trespass and that Aster is entitled to the sole possession thereof. An award of Sh100,000,000 general damages to be paid by Caroget Investments,” the judge declared in a 25-page ruling.
"The suit property history is that it had been in private ownership since 1946. It ceased to be government land and was therefore not available for alienation by the Commissioner of Lands. The suit property never reverted back to the government as to be available for re-allocation," Obaga ruled on Wednesday.
In April, the former governor told the court he registered the land with the Ministry of Lands in 2007 after paying all the requisite fees. However, judge Obaga ruled that the property was fraudulently acquired in a scheme that started in 2006.
"From the evidence adduced herein and the documents produced in this case, it is clear that the title by the first defendant (Nairobi County Government) which was subsequently transferred to the fifth defendant (Caroget Investment Ltd) was obtained illegally, unprocedurally and through corrupt scheme," Obaga said.
A title deed awarded to Kabogo had earlier been cancelled, but his firm Caroget obtained court orders quashing it.