All Africa Kenya

Kenya: Property Developer Shocks Court With Confession On Due Diligence in Land Deal

A real estate developer embroiled in a land ownership battle with a judge on Wednesday shocked the court when he admitted buying the land without following due diligence.

Mr Peter Odande, a property agent with Sakawa Enterprises, said he did not conduct a search to confirm the status of the land in the Naka area before he decided to buy it.

He bought the property though he knew the area was a prime location and has numerous disputes involving land ownership.

The Environment and Land Court heard that Mr Odande, who claimed he has been in the business for over 20 years, bought the land for Sh3 million from a woman named Sally Cherutich in 2018 without verifying all the documents.

Mr Odande said he could not conduct the search because the land had no title deed.

“The seller kept telling me that the title was being prepared,” he said.

Mr Odande and Ms Cherutich have been sued by Mombasa Lands Court Judge Sila Munyao for allegedly grabbing his parcel of land, which measures 0.048 hectares.

Fake lease document

Justice Munyao, in his suit filed in 2018, accused the two of conspiring with the lands office to fraudulently procure and prepare a fake lease document and a certificate of lease with the aim of dispossessing him.

Through his lawyer, Njuguna Matiri, the judge also claims the defendants had illegally tampered with court records causing the disappearance of genuine records that indicate he is the owner of the property.