Court to deliver ruling on Bishop Ocholla’s disputed land next week

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Court will deliver its ruling in the land dispute case involving the late Bishop James Ocholla’s family and Landmark International Properties Limited on 21st Friday.

This is after the hearing of the case before the Nairobi magistrate’s civil court.

The court also declined to issue orders maintaining the status quo of the property as prayed for by Nairobi city County lawyer Harrison Kinyanjui.

In the case, Landmark International allegedly bought the land in Buruburu from the trustees of Glad tidings but has been faced with difficulties after Ochola’s widow and daughter Joan Awuor Ocholla claimed that the sale was illegal.

The defendants include Glad Tidings Crusade, Christine Opiko, Fred Agwa, and Edward Otieno ( Christine’s husband). Joan was also enjoined as a defendant applicant while Nairobi City County as an interested party.

The defendants’ lawyer Duncan Okatch argued that Joan was not a registered trustee of Glad Tidings nor an official and is therefore a stranger to the court.

He submitted that he has documents from the ministry showing who the named trustees as of October 2016 are and Joan is not one of them since she was replaced.

However Joan swears in her affidavit that she is a member of trustees. Both her and her mother accuse Christine and her husband Edward of selling the land illegally without consent from other board members.

Kinyanjui told the court that the sale was not done procedurally.

He requested the court to maintain the status quo for fear that Landmark may dispose the land to a third party.

However, lawyers for the applicant and defendants objected the prayer saying that nothing had been produced before court to show that the property is being transfered, disposed or new tenants coming in.

They argued that the County and Joan did not seek such an order in their application. The court heard granting orders not prayed for would amount to an illegality.

In the application, Kinyanjui prays for interim orders preventing any sale or transfer of the land in dispute and not maintaining the status quo.

However Kinyanjui stated that the parties did not demonstrated they would suffer any prejudice if the status quo was maintained.

The magistrate ruled that the case has not met the threshold to grant interim orders and reserve both rulings for 21st.