9 May 2013

Kenya: Supreme Court Says It Has Juridction to Hear Moi's Case

THE Supreme Court yesterday said it has powers to hear an application by retired president Daniel Moi in which he is challenging orders that required him to surrender 100 acres of Kabarak University back to a rancher.

Two judges of the Supreme Court ruled that they can rightly adjudicate the matter as "the court has powers to stay executive of degrees".

Supreme Court judges Mohamed Ibrahim and Jackton Ojwang also ordered the status quo to be maintained.

The status quo stops the court of appeal orders that required Moi to return the land back to Malcom Bell, a rancher who owns over 4,000 acres of the land neighboring the school.

Bell's lawyers Paul Muite had asked the Supreme Court to dismiss Moi's application on grounds that the court lacks jurisdiction to hear the application.

Muite had argued that the application by Moi would open new issues and that the law does not vest power to hear preliminary applications on Supreme Court.

However, justice Ojwang and Ibrahim disallowed the objections saying the Supreme Court is not excluded from making orders to safeguard subject matters before it.

In his application, Moi is challenging the decision by the appeal court in August last year which reversed an earlier High Court Decision that handed the land to Moi high School Kabarak.

He says that he was given the land as a gift by the senior Bell, the late Ginger Bell, after digging a borehole, cattle deep and connecting electricity.

Bell moved to the court in 2003 to reclaim the land , after Moi left power, arguing that he

could not have done it earlier because he enjoyed immunity.

The case was then handled by Justice Muga Apondi who in his judgment allowed the school to continue occupying the land, saying that it had acquired a title deed by adverse possession.

Aggrieved by the decision, Bell appealed the decision, and in a Judgment delivered in Nakuru by Justice Martha Koome and Justice Hannah Okwengu Moi was ordered to give back the land.

The case will be heard on July 4.

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