In the heart of Nairobi County’s Muthaiga, a legal storm has erupted, casting a shadow of doubt and foul play over Gideon Muriuki, the Chief Executive of Co-op Bank.
Amidst accusations of trespass and forced entry, a private company named Mount Pleasant Ltd has dragged Muriuki to court, entangling him in a complex and emotional property dispute. As the details unfold, the story unveils a tale of shattered trust, conflicting claims, and a fight for justice that has left all parties emotionally drained.
Documents presented before the Nairobi Environment and Lands Court paint a picture of a contentious struggle over a property registered under Land Reference No 214/20/2.
Gideon Muriuki and Mount Pleasant’s Director, Anverali Amershi, find themselves locked in a fierce legal battle, each asserting their rightful ownership of the disputed land.
The story behind the dispute begins with the claim made by Mr. Karmali, who states that he purchased the three-acre land from former finance minister Arthur Magugu and his wife, Margaret Wairimu, in 2006 for a substantial sum of Sh130 million.
However, complications arose when it was revealed that the land had been used as collateral for a loan obtained by the Magugus in 1987. The loan, amounting to Sh10.5 million, was granted to a company named MDC Holdings Ltd, owned by the Magugus.
The transaction led to a legal battle between the Magugus and the National Bank of Kenya (NBK), seeking to recover the debt and accumulated interest over a decade.
According to Mr. Karmali’s claim, the lawsuit resulted in a compromise between the parties involved. The court order, recorded in October 2002, dictated that the properties be sold through private negotiation.
Karmali asserts that he and the Magugus agreed on a payment of Sh5 million for the sale agreement execution, with an additional Sh8 million allocated for rates owed to the former Nairobi City Council.
Mount Pleasant was then expected to pay NBK Sh75 million to settle the loan, while the Magugus were set to receive Sh42 million from the transaction.
According to claims made, the former minister and NBK allegedly engaged in a renegotiation process, resulting in the final settlement amount of Sh90 million being released to NBK.
It is stated that Magugu began the subdivision of the property into two separate parcels, namely LR No 214/20/2/1 and LR No 214/20/2/2. However, this subdivision plan eventually encountered obstacles and was abandoned.
However, complications arose when subsequent investigations revealed that Gideon Muriuki and another respondent, Jane Wangui Mundia, had acquired certificates showing them as registered owners of the subdivided properties. It was alleged that Muriuki and Mundia had purchased the land for a staggering Sh306 million in 2013.
Mount Pleasant contended that these actions were astonishing, as they had never surrendered their titles and still retained the original conveyance of the properties. The legal battle intensified, with both sides presenting evidence to support their claims and unravel the truth.
Throughout the proceedings, emotions ran high, leaving all parties involved mentally and emotionally exhausted. The allegations of tampering with the land register to erase any evidence of previous owners added a distressing layer of deceit to an already contentious situation.
The battle took an even more heartrending turn when, on June 15, 2020, Gideon Muriuki allegedly arrived at the disputed land accompanied by police officers. In a distressing turn of events, guards were ousted, and Muriuki proceeded to install his own security team, causing further distress and dismay.
In the midst of this emotional rollercoaster, Mount Pleasant, with their lawyer James Rimui by their side, approached the court seeking justice and an order to remove Muriuki from the property. Their claim asserted that the land register had been manipulated, raising doubts about the authenticity of Muriuki’s ownership