Spy Kanyotu Family Fights For Sh750 Million Kiambu Land

A company has sued the family of the late chief spy James Kanyotu over a disputed land worth Sh750 Million in Kiambu.
Marriot international company through its director Abdul Hassan claims that late Kanyotu’s wives Margaret Murigu, Mary Wanjiuku and son Willy Kihara together with their company Kangata coffee estates limited conspired to defraud the land using fake documents.

In court documents, Marriot Company says that Margaret and Mary were at all material times together with one Jane Gathoni Muraya Kanyotu (who is not part of this suit) the administrators of the Estate of the Late James Kanyotu.
They had been appointed as such in High Court Succession Cause Number 1239 of 2008, Nairobi.

By an Agreement dated 5th February 2014 entered into between a company known as Trendsetters Investments Limited of the one part and Marriot company of the other part, for the consideration.
Trendsetters Investments Limited agreed to sell and the Marriot agreed to purchase all that parcel of land known as L.R. No. 11261/76.
Abdul said that during the purchase of the said Parcel of Land from Trendsetters Investments Limited, Marriot carried out its due diligence on the Parcel of Land at the Lands Office Registry and established that there was no encumbrance registered against the title to the said Parcel of Land.
 In effect, the result of the due diligence was that Trendsetters Investments Limited held a clean title in respect of the Parcel of Land.
“Owing to the foregoing and for the fact that there was no encumbrance registered against the title to the said Parcel of Land on 21st August 2014 the Land Registrar duly registered the Transfer of the said Parcel of Land in favour of the Plaintiff. For all intents and purposes, at the point of purchase of the said Parcel of Land, the Plaintiff was a bona fide purchaser for value without notice and its title to the said Parcel of Land is indefeasible”, Abdul states in court documents.

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He states that on dates in 2018 and 2019 and more recently on 31st May 2019, the Defendants, purporting to act on behalf of the Estate of the Late James Kanyotu caused to be placed in the local newspapers certain adverts entitled “caveat emptor” alleging that all that parcel of land known as 11261/76 belonged to a company known as Kangaita Coffee Estates Limited and the Estate of the Late James Kanyotu.
“The said adverts were fraudulent and misleading and meant by the Defendants to mislead the public into thinking and believing that, all that parcel of land known as L.R. No. 11261/76 was still in existence and that the same belonged to the Kangaita Coffee Estate Limited and the Estate of the Late James Kanyotu; and Marriot company did not have the legal capacity to sell its parcels of land to any willing member of the public”, Abdul told court.

In defence Willy Kihara Kanyotu who is the third defendant in the case claims that he is one of the beneficiaries of the Estate of the late  Kanyotu.

He states that the suit property belongs to Kangaita Coffee Estate Limited, a company where James Kanyotu (deceased) was the majority shareholder, owning 99% of the said company’s shares.

Kihara adds that sometime in the year 2008 after the death of James Kanyotu, a succession cause was filed at the High Court Nairobi whereby the 4th Defendant( Kangaita Coffee Estate Limited) was listed as one of the companies owned by the deceased and the suit property was also listed as one of his properties.

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“On t September 28, 2009 Justice G Dulu sitting at the High Court Nairobi in the succession cause issued orders prohibiting anyone from dealing with all the properties listed as the estate of James Kanyotu (deceased) and this also included all the companies and shares where the deceased was the majority shareholder”, he states in court documents.

He said the order was registered as a restriction on most of the estate’s properties including the certificate of lease of the suit property.

Thereafter on November 8,2013 the same succession court, now Justice L. Kimaru issued a ruling and orders preserving all the shares of the companies where the deceased James Kanyotu was a majority shareholder and he also reversed/cancelled illegal changes of shares and directorships that had been done to companies where James Kanyotu was a majority shareholder. These companies included the 4th Defendant.

Kihara says sometime in the year 2013 a company by the name Trendsetters Investments Limited deviously moved to the High Court Commercial and Admiralty division, it sued the Attorney General and the Registrar of lands and sought orders to set aside the orders that had been issued by the succession court on  September 28, 2009, and the said company surprisingly got orders to the set aside the orders preserving the suit property herein;

He urged the court to note that neither the fourth Defendant nor any of the Administrators of the Estate of James Kanyotu were a party to the matter before the High Court Commercial Division or were aware of the said proceedings. However, the said court went ahead and issued ex-parte orders affecting them, the fourth Defendant, beneficiaries and administrators of the estate of James Kanyotu.

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“The entire scheme and fraud to acquire the suit property herein was being led and it is still being run by one Kamlesh Pattni and that is the reason his proxy company Trendsetters Investment Limited filed an illegal matter before the High Court commercial division where the then Justice Mutava issued it ex parte orders without jurisdiction”, he states in his affidavit.

” In further manifestation of the fraudulent scheme, once the restriction registered against the lease of the suit property was illegally set aside, the suit property was on the same date transferred to Trendsetters Investments Limited and later on to the Plaintiff,” said Kihara.

He said that Trendsetters Investments Limited did not pay even a single shilling to the 4th Defendant for the suit property, however, it alleges to have paid individuals who were not the registered owners of the suit property, neither were they directors of the 4th Defendant;

He accuses the Plaintiff for not also pay a single shilling for the suit property to Trendsetters Investments Limited;

He accuses the Plaintiff of using an illegal court process to remove the restriction on the suit property, Trendsetters Investment Limited and the Plaintiff herein, used forged and fake Land Control Board consents (LCB).

He adds that  there was no company resolution from the fourth Defendant to sell the suit property, or from Trendsetters Investments Limited to buy the same and also to sell to the Plaintiff herein. The Plaintiff has also not presented any resolution it made to buy the suit property.