Equity bank boss defends acquisition of sh300 million land from moi

Equity Bank chief executive officer James Mwangi has said he did not borrow loan from the bank to acquire a contested parcel in Nairobi’s upmarket Muthaiga estate.

Testifying before High Court Judge M. Mwangi, Mwangi further said he did not offer any security to secure the land, which he claimed he purchased from the late President Daniel Moi.

Maestro Connections Health System has sued Riley Services, United State International University (USIU), DPS International ltd and Moi among others including law firms over the parcel.

“In 2016 I had no position in the board or the management. I do not know about the loan. I did not borrow money from Equity bank to buy this property. I did not submit any documentation to any bank official regarding this transaction. The property is not listed as a security it was not providing any revenue at repayment”, he testified.

He told the court he is a director and shareholder of Muthaiga Luxury Homes ltd alongside together with his wife. He said the company is family business and the intention of purchasing the land was to build a ‘city within a city’.

“Having gotten the title, we took possession of the land and fenced with concrete poles but it was bushy. We were not buying the land for agricultural purposes. This was a prime property we intended to develop into a city within a city,” he submitted.

The bank executive urged the court to find that he took part in an “honest transaction”.

“We are asking the court to find that the title we hold is from an honest transaction. I would ask the court to find that I am holding a genuine title and that I exercised due care in my transactions and that I have given adequate evidence,” he submitted.

He informed the court that he visited Moi in early 2013 at his Karbanet Gardens residence to thank the former head of state for selling the land to him.

“My visit was to say thank to an elder the visit lasted at least one and half hours. I presented a gift to him which made him very excited. I gave him a golden pen and a bottle of ink,” he said.

Mwangi said he bought the 20-acre piece of land from Moi in February 2012 for Sh300 million after confirming that the former President legitimately owned it.

He has listed USIU-A, Moi, Mr Kiongera’s Maestro Connections Health Systems Limited, the Chief Lands Registrar, the Director of Survey and Attorney-General Githu Muigai as the respondents in the case.

Court papers show that Moi was represented in the transaction by businessman Andrew Sunkuli.

Mwangi says he bought the property through his company, Muthaiga Luxury Homes, and has attached the sale agreement and transfer documents with Moi’s signature as evidence in the suit.

Maestro Connections Health System ltd on its part wants the court to issue permanent injunction to issue restraining the defendants from entering, invading or trespassing into the land, more specifically known as L.R No. 12422/19 (L.R 36415) at new Muthaiga Estate, Nairobi.

The company further seeks to compel the Kasarani police Station boss to provide security on the contested land.

It is the company’s argument that the purported consolidation or amalgamation of L.R No. 12422/19 (I.R 36414) and L.R No. 12422/18 (Ι.Κ. No. 36415) was irregular and fraudulent.

“An order directed at the 5th Defendant (Ndungu Paul Ndiritu) to cancel, revoke and or destroy any titles and instruments created or registered after and on the strength of the fraudulent amalgamation of title Number L..R No. 12422/19 (I.R 36414) and L..R No. 12422/18 (I.R No. 36415) that purportedly gave rise to Title Number L..R No. 12597 (I.R 38524),” seeks the company.

It further seeks the court to declare that TripleOKLaw Advocates LLP fraudulently misrepresented itself to Maestro Company that it had instructions from the former president Daniel Moi.

The company also seeks for an order directing TripleOKlaw advocates LLP to compensate Maestro fully for the loss of the suit property at the current market value to be valued by the Chief Government Valuer within 30 days of the judgment.

The company also seeks for special damages, security guard services Sh. 8,786,957.52 and costs incurred for the construction of a perimeter wall of Sh. 19,612,800.

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