Court Deals Blow To 3,000 Members In 5,186-Acre Land Dispute

by Lawyer Alex

More than 3,000 people have suffered a setback in their bid to possess a piece of 5,186 acres in lower Subukia.

This is after a High Court in Nakuru dismissed their application seeking to stop proceedings of three cases in relation to the subject property filed in the Environment and Lands Court and others at the Family Division Court.

High Court Judge Hillary Chemitei disallowed the March 2, 2020 application by Ngendalel Koiyo Farm Limited.

In dismissing the application, Chemitei ruled that suspending the three cases would prejudice parties in the other suits who are not parties in the case before him. He ruled that the court couldn’t order suspension of the proceedings of the other cases in different courts.

“The courts handling the other suits are seized with constitutional jurisdiction to determine their own issues independent of this court,” ruled Chemitei.

He noted that notice of appeal was filed out of time and outside the prescribed 30 days as per the provisions of the law, adding that the case could no longer be handled in the High Court since it was determined in the same court 15 years ago.

“The High Court discharged its mandate when it delivered its verdict in 2006, thus the application is defective and is hereby dismissed with no order to cost,” ruled the judge. Through its director Edward Kiptanui, the group wanted three cases suspended until their application was heard and determined.

“The applicants seek stay orders for the three cases until hearing and determination of the application and thereafter intended appeal,” reads the application. According to Kiptanui, the cases relate to the estate of the late Joseph Leitmann and touched on the suit land, which the group is laying claim to.

The group also wants the court to review, stay or set aside any orders touching on the suit land contrary to a stay order issued on May 4, 2010.

Kiptanui, in his application, claimed that the group unlawfully lost a land suit to another group, Ukingoni Farmers Limited, comprising over 4,000 members. After battle over the land, judgement was delivered in favour of Ukingoni on October 13, 2006. The then Lady Justice Martha Koome ordered Ngendalel Group evicted.

Ngendalel Group was dissatisfied with the decision and filed a notice of appeal dated November 16, 2006.

The two groups signed a consent on May 4, 2010 and agreed to have to stop the execution of decree in the judgement pending appeal.“The original file disappeared, original exhibits including two titles for the land disappeared and three suits arose,” read the application.

In opposition, Ukingoni through Director Harun Chemjor filed the reply on May 15, 2020, deposing that issues raised by Ngendalel were not meritorious and ought to be dismissed with costs. He added that it had been over 14 years since the matter was determined and yet Ngendalel had not bothered to prosecute the appeal. 

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