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Advocate criticizes length taken to dispense land case

By Laventa Ambuka,Bungoma

A Bungoma-based advocate has criticised the length taken by a Malaba court to dispense a land case that has dragged for 23 years.

Addressing the press outside Malaba Law Courts in Amagoro on Thursday, Mr Kevin Peter Shikhu regretted that the matter had not taken of since November 2023, with the Principal Magistrate Charo Momanyi failing to fix hearing date.

The case had been earmarked for hearing in the Environment and Land Court 2 by the PM but failed to take off with Resident Magistrate Zawadi Ogange, noting that the trial Magistrate had been indisposed, thus could not sit.

” Some investigating officers claimed I obtained land documents fraudulently despit purchasing the land genuinely over two decades ago,” Ekwenye recalled.

Advocate Shikhu revealed that the case will come up for hearing on April 4, 2024, urging the Principal Magistrate to disqualify if he is not capable of handling the case.

Mr Shikhu also cited alleged interference of the case by some investigations officers whom he claimed had delayed the case from taking off, urging the DPP to intervene hasten the process.

James Ekwenye, Kelvin Peter Shikhu, and Joseph Omasete.

Mr James Ekwenye bought the land from Mzee Patrick Mamai in 2000,the transaction that was signed by nine witnesses and also endorsed by the seller’s wife Beatrice Emojong’.

The four-acre piece of land at Rwatama village in Angurai South Ward, Teso North Sub-County, was sold to Mr Ekwenye at Ksh30,500 per acre.

However, Mr Ekwenye said things started taking a nosedive when the seller’s sons Dennis Mamai and Boniface Imwene whom he helped educate, insisted Ekwenye was not bona-fide buyer of the land, thus forcing the matter to resort to legal battles.

” Some investigating officers claimed I obtained land documents fraudulently despit purchasing the land genuinely over two decades ago,” Ekwenye recalled.

He produced the original title deed that dated 24th October 2018 to confirm he was the rightful owner of the land contrary to claims by the sellers’ sons.

Outside Malaba law court

To confirm sinister motives of the father’s sons, Mr Ekwenye noted an incident in September 2023 when Mr. Imwene allegedly chased away his land caretaker, noting that the threats had also been extended to him.

The incident he added saw the destruction of his crops to the tune of Ksh195,000, according to crop damage assessment report by ward agricultural officer Humphrey Wanyonyi.

Following spates of nasty incidents, Ekwenye said he reported the matter to area chief, where Mr Patrick Mamai and his sons were summoned.

The chief then forwarded the matter to Assistant County Commissioner Changara, who was left in a state of shock after the seller’s sons demeaning remarks.

OCS Moding advised Mr Ekwenye to file a criminal case against the seller’s sons. Amagoro DCIO Said Chitibwa took up the matter in a bid to have the perpetrators arraigned in court, but no action had been taken to date with the DCIO transferred to Langata Police station.

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