28 May 2018

Kenya: KAA Takes on Land Agency Over Ownership Row

The Kenya Airports Authority is seeking to quash a decision by the National Land Commission invalidating its claim of ownership of parcels of land in Mombasa.

KAA on Monday claimed that NLC has purported to exercise jurisdiction to hear and determine the dispute between KAA and East African Gas Company Ltd (EAGCL).

The authority also wants an order issued restraining NLC from interfering with its ownership, possession and occupation of the land.

"The action by the respondent (NLC) to purport to uphold EAGCL titles when there is an active criminal proceeding of the acquisition amounts to abuse of office," the application by KAA reads in part.

FRAUD CHARGES

It adds: "The respondent denied the applicant a reasonable opportunity to state its case which was already in the public domain, considering that there were criminal proceedings instituted by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions over the same land."

In its application at the Environment and Land Court in Mombasa, KAA says the decision by NLC to uphold the title was communicated via a Gazette Notice No 6862 dated July 17.

The row is over 12 parcels of land hived off Moi International Airport land.

Former Commissioner of Lands Wilson Gachanja and former KAA Managing Director Peter Lagat were cleared of fraud charges in relation to the case.

Through lawyer Augustus Wafula, KAA argues that the Environment court is the only institution with jurisdiction to solve land wrangles.

HEARING

The parastatal has named the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and the Director of Public Prosecutions as interested parties.

The gas firm's lawyer, Mr Macharia Ng'aru, sought for an adjournment of the case, which Justice Ann Omollo allowed.

Mr Macharia was instructed to file a response within 14 days.

The case will be heard on July 9.

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