Dubai Bank Caught Up In Multi-million Shillings Land Ownership Row

By The Weekly Vision Team

South Eastern University College (SEKU) in Machakos County has filed an appeal in court against a ruling by Judge O.A. Angote delivered on May 11, 2023, declaring that a property known as LR. No. 209/10350 situated in Upper Hill Nairobi belonged to Ukamba Agricultural Institute Limited.

It emerged that Dubai Bank had paid a 10% deposit of Ksh. 38 million to Ukamba Agricultural Institute Ltd. before the dispute arose. Aggrieved by that decision, the South Eastern University College lodged a notice of appeal evincing an intention to challenge that decision through a notice of motion dated May 30, 2023, seeking to stay execution of that judgment and a temporary injunction restraining the Ukamba Agricultural Institute Limited, whether by themselves, agents, successors, servants, or themselves, from alienating, selling, transferring, and/or dealing in any manner whatsoever with the suit property. 

In an affidavit in support of the motion sworn on May 30, 2023, by Prof. Francis N. Wachira, the acting vice chancellor of the university, he deposes that the applicant is in imminent danger of suffering irreparable loss of the property, which is public land, as it is being utilized by the respondent for commercial purposes and is purporting to change use from education to commercial.

However, resisting the application, Stephen Ndambuki Muli, the chairman of Ukamba Agricultural Institute, swore an affidavit on June 20, 2023, opposing the application, saying that there is nothing to be stayed in so far as the order sought to be stayed was a dismissal of a counterclaim.

Regarding the merits of the intended appeal, Ukamba Agricultural Institute Limited contends that it is a non-starter because the applicant’s entire case rested on a gazette notice conferring ownership upon it.

In a judgment dated December 8, 2023, Court of Appeals judges F. Tuiyott, Ali Aroni, and M. Gachoka ruled, “The Notice of Motion dated May 30, 2023, is granted in terms that the respondent is restrained by way of an injunction from selling, charging, or in any other manner disposing of the property pending the hearing and determination of the intended appeal.”