Lawyer Cum Politician to Appear in Court Over Sh300m Land Fraud Case

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A parliamentary candidate in the Kenya Kwanza Alliance and a business tycoon charged with defrauding a milk company owned by former assistant minister Patrick Muiruri of land worth Sh300 million have a case to answer.

The two have now been put on their defence in the land fraud case that has been going on for 11 years.

Lawyer Patrick Ngunjiri Maina, the Chama cha Kazi candidate for Othaya, is jointly charged with Mr Victor Maina Ngunjiri, the proprietor of Maathai Supermarkets, a dominant and indigenous retailer in the Mount Kenya region for more than four decades.

Mr Ngunjiri has denied forging a land transfer document for L R No4953/2414 I.R 72606, purporting it had been signed by the directors of Thika Dairies Ltd.

The transfer was effected on March 5, 2011 at an unknown place within Kenya.

Transfer document

Mr Maina is also charged that on March 14, 2012 at Ardhi House, with intent to deceive, knowingly uttered a transfer document of the land in dispute, which had been made by P N Ngunjiri Maina Advocates without authority.

In his testimony to the court, Mr Muiruri said he is a director of Thika Dairies, which was incorporated on August 14, 1992.

He told the court the company bought several properties, including the 17-acre parcel of land that is the subject of the criminal litigation.

Mr Muiruri, a former Gatundu North MP, said on behalf of the company, he entered into an agreement on March 10, 2008 to sell to Mapema Holdings Ltd a parcel of land through its director, Mr Maina.

“We agreed Mapema Holdings Ltd will buy the land at Sh9 million,” Mr Muiruri told the trial court.

Original title

Upon failing to pay the full sale price of Sh9 million, Mr Muiruri requested Mr Maina to return the original title, but he never got it back. Mr Muiruri also asked Mr Maina to go for a refund of the Sh2 million he had paid without success.

The court heard that a fellow director of Thika Dairies — Prudential Gaitera — complained to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations that Mr Muiruri had sold and transferred the land without the consent of other directors.

Mr Muiruri said upon examining the transfer documents, he noticed anomalies because they were not signed by him.

“The ID numbers, the KRA PIN numbers, the photos appended on the transfer forms and the signature were not mine,” Mr Muiruri told the court.

“When I called Victor over the irregular transfer of the land he blamed his advocate Patrick Ngunjiri for the sale of the land,” Mr Muiruri told the court.

Never signed transfer documents

He said he surrendered the original title to Mapema Holdings Ltd’s lawyer, Mr Ngunjiri, but he never signed the transfer documents.

Mr Ngunjiri and Mr Maina are charged with falsely securing the transfer of the parcel of land on March 5, 2011.

Mr Maina and Mr Ngunjiri were scheduled to defend themselves before Chief Magistrate Emily Ominde but the case was deferred to October 13.

The hearing was mentioned before senior principal magistrate Kibet Sambu who allocated the fresh trial date since Ms Ominde was away for official duties.