Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko and NMS Director-General Mohamed Badi have received a joint court win against city billionaire Madatli Chatur on a case where the tycoon had claimed to own a parcel of land earmarked for construction of the Nairobi Fire Station.
Chatur was dealt a blow after he sought to stop eviction from the multi-million parcel of land in Gigiri.
The case by the tycoon was dismissed by Justice Samson Okong’o who stated that the billionaire had not satisfied the court with evidence against the county government.
Sonko had in 2018, moved to demolish the premises set up on the disputed piece of land stating that it was meant for a fire station, but had been grabbed.
It was then that the city tycoon moved to quash the demolition and subsequent eviction with the case dragging on until the NMS took over the land and ancillary function from Sonko’s administration.
“On the merit of the application, I am not satisfied that the applicant has established a prima facie case against the respondents. It is not disputed that the Enforcement Notice that was served by the respondents upon the applicant was provided for in law. I am not in agreement with the applicant that it was entitled to be heard before the notice was issued,” the Judge ruled.
Justice Okong’o further found that the businessman was aware that there was a dispute over the ownership of the suit property and that the county was challenging its title.
“The applicant should have challenged the respondents’ Enforcement Notice in the pending civil suit in which all the issues that have been raised herein could be determined through viva voce evidence,” he stated.
Chatur, in documents submitted to the court, stated that the property was private land and that he was the registered owner.
In response, the county disputed Chatur’s claim and indicated that the businessman had illegally constructed a car bazaar and offices on the suit property.
The county government further argued that the ownership of the suit property was in dispute and that the property was mentioned in the Report of the Commission of Inquiry into Illegal /Irregular Allocation of Public Land (“the Ndungu Report”) as one of the parcels of land that had been illegally allocated to private individuals.
“The respondents averred that the suit property was originally set aside for a fire station and that whether the suit property was private or public land was pending determination in Nairobi High Court Civil Suit No. 2156 of 2007.
“The respondents averred further that their investigations revealed several irregularities from the time the property was allocated up to the time it ended up with the applicant. The respondents averred that the applicant was aware as early as 2007 that the ownership of the suit property was disputed,” court documents revealed.
Sonko, moved to carry out demolitions on the property after issuing a seven-day notice
Similarly, in July 2020, NMS DG Mohammed Badi promised to secure the piece of grabbed county land in Gigiri, Nairobi.
He noted that the land was meant for a fire station but had been converted into a large business complex serving the upmarket area.