12 July 2018

Kenya: Estate Dispute - Fresh Twist in Nyong'o Case

A property dispute pitting members of Kisumu Governor Anyang' Nyong'o's family took a new twist yesterday.

This was after Prof Nyong'o's sister admitted that there were errors in documents that confirmed them as administrators of their father's estate.

Dr Risper Nyagoy said there had been mistakes in a chief's letter and the confirmation of a grant that awarded them powers, alongside other siblings, to control the multi-million-shilling estate of Mr Hesbone Shimei Nyong'o.

According to the law of succession, once grant of letters of administration is issued to dependants, they must approach the court for what is known as a confirmation of grant for them to be able to distribute the assets.

DOCUMENT

Dr Nyagoy, who took to the stand, admitted that the chief's letter omitted the names of five of her siblings. She, however, maintained that her brother, Mr Samuel Otieno, was represented by his wife, Dr Juliana Otieno, while another sibling, Aggrey Omondi Nyong'o, was represented by his eldest son Kwame.

The names of her two sisters and one Charles Anam Nyong'o, the governor's brother who has been missing since 1980, were not also included in the father's estate. She said Dr Otieno was listed as the senior Nyong'o's daughter yet she was his daughter-in-law.

"I only realised last week that my name was written wrongly in the confirmed grant and the names of both my mother and my sister Hilda were missing from the document," she said.

She, however, pointed to the court that she was willing to have the document rectified.

RESPONSIBILITIES

In the case, Prof Nyong'o's nephews Geoffrey Omondi Nyong'o and Kenneth Odhiambo Okuthe have sued the governor and Dr Nyagoy for leaving out some relatives in the list of beneficiaries to the estate. The applicants accused Prof Nyong'o and Dr Nyagoy of concealing important information on confirmation of the grant.

Mr Omondi is the eldest son of Governor Nyong'o's sister, the late Judith. Mr Omondi and his sister Fiona Atieno Nyong'o were taken care of by their grandfather. The parties are expected to report to court on July 31.

Dr Nyagoy however maintained that the two could not be made administrators of the estate because Mr Omondi has been like a son to Governor Nyong'o since he had taken parental responsibilities while Mr Okuthe was never a dependent because "he was not part of the family since he had been away for many years."

But she failed explain to the court why there was no letter of adoption of Mr Omondi yet there was one for Fiona Atieno, Mr Omondi's younger sister.

SIBLINGS

"Dr Juliana was included because she represented my eldest brother while Mr Kwame took over his father's house and has been helping my mother ever since."

In the case, Prof Nyong'o's nephews Mr Geoffrey Omondi Nyong'o and Kenneth Odhiambo Okuthe have sued the Governor and his sister Dr Nyagoy Nyong'o for leaving out some relatives in the list of beneficiaries to his father's estate.

The court proceeded to full hearing before High Court Judge Justice Tripsisa Cherere after the family failed for a second time to settle the matter out of court.

Mr Omondi and Mr Okuthe claimed the administrators left out two of their siblings' children from the list of beneficiaries. Mr Omondi is the eldest son to the late Judith who left him with another sibling Fiona Atieno Nyong'o. Both of them were taken care of by their grandfather Mr Shimei Nyong'o.

CONCEALING

Mr Shimei died on November 10, 2006 without a will but the applicants claim they have never benefited from the deceased's estate.

The two nephews had accused their uncle and aunt of neglecting the children of the late Margaret Awuor Dick and Judith Nyong'o who were both daughters of the senior Nyong'o.

Mr Omondi and Mr Okuthe claimed the governor and his sister were made the administrators of multimillion estates after the local chief certified that the two and their mother and other siblings were the true beneficiaries.

The applicants accused Prof Nyong'o and Dr Nyagoy of concealing important information on confirmation of the grant and not accounting for the estate and are in court seeking revocation or annulment of the letters of administration.

TRANSFER

During cross examination, Dr Nyagoy said she was not aware she was supposed to file books of account and confirmed that no trust account had been opened for her father's estate.

The applicants through their lawyer Mr Rogers Mugumya are demanding that an audit be carried out so that everyone gets their due. Mr Omondi filed the case saying he feared that Prof Nyong'o could sell or transfer the estate.

The governor and his sister have maintained that his nephews are opportunists taking advantage of him being in an elected position to demand more, a move he said is calculated to embarrass and extort him because he was elected Governor of Kisumu County.

SH200 MILLION

The entire estate is estimated to have been more than Sh200 million when the trust was opened by the governor and his sister.

It includes 100 acres' piece of land in Miwani under a 99-year lease, same to another parcel of land on Jogoo Road in Nairobi which currently holds flats. Other parcels of land are in Manyatta, Tamu, Milimani estates and East Rata in Seme Sub-county in Kisumu.

The parties are expected to report to court on July 31 where they will be given a date for the judgment.

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