Kiambu: Man loses bid to claim father’s land seven years after his death

By Justus Karanja

A man in Kiambu County who filed a claim to his father’s land seven years after his death has lost the case.

The court further found no evidence of fraud or misrepresentation as claimed by the man to warrant cancellation of the title.

Thika Environment and Land Court judge, Lady Justice Lucy Gacheru ruled James Karogo did not convince the court he was entitled to a share of the suit property.

The judge was making a ruling in a case where Karogo sued Walter Muchunu, Ephantus Muchunu, Perpetua Wanjiru, Joseph Mburu, Esther Njoroge, Jane Muriithi and the Land Registrar Kiambu demanding the cancellation of their titles.

Karogo told the court he is the son of Walter Njau Ironjo (deceased) who was the original owner of all the land situated in Ndumberi, Kiambu.

He claimed John Muchunu Njau (deceased) had the title illegally registered in his name at his exclusion.

Karogo stated before his demise,  Ironjo had left the original title deed with his granddaughter, Lucia Mwihaki Njau since his wife was too old.

He added that after the demise of their father,  Njau demanded to be given the title to get letters of administration on the estate.

Karogo told the court Njau passed on and he decided to take over the succession and subsequently carried out a search and discovered the land was registered in the name of Muchunu on 28th March, 2007.

On 2nd April 2007, Karogo caused a restriction to be registered on the land but it was removed on 24th April, 2007. 

He stated on 25th April, 2007, the land was subdivided into two parcels number 3596 and 3595. 

The following month it was subdivided into four parcels and registered in the name of Muchunu. There was a further subdivision of plot 3615 registered in Muchunu’s name.

Karogo stated that Perpetua Wanjiru took letter of Administration for the estate of Njau and was issued with a Certificate of Confirmation of Grant.

 Armed with it, she transferred the land to Walter Muchunu and Jane Muriithi who commenced developments on it.

Karogo averred that he lived on the suit property and had constructed his house on the land that is now registered in the name of Ephantus Muchunu.

He averred the deceased, Njau fraudulently transferred the land to his name, yet succession in respect of their father’s estate was not completed.

Karogo told the court he feared he would be evicted and his family would suffer irreparable harm.

But Walter Muchunu and Perpetua Wanjiru told the court they are the sons and wife of the deceased, Njau, who was the registered proprietor of the land.

They said upon his demise, they took Letter of Administration and shared out the land.

The two defendants said they are “strangers to the allegations of fraud made by Karogo”.

They said they have put up homes on the suit property and would be greatly prejudiced by any revocation of titles.

The defendants told the court Karogo had taken his claim to the elders who dismissed it.

They said Karogo was left with land in Njoro, while their father/ husband was left with the suit property.

The other defendants in a joint replying affidavit said they bought the land without notice of any fraud.

They said in March, 2007, they entered into a sale agreement with Muchunu (deceased), for the purchase of a 75 by 100 ft share of land to be hived from plot 2157, for a consideration of Sh50,000.

They added that a title was issued to them and they took possession and occupation of the land and put up a matrimonial home where they have lived up to date. 

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