Court stops sale of land serial conman stole from Nairobi couple - Beaking Kenya News

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Sunday, 1 September 2019

Court stops sale of land serial conman stole from Nairobi couple

sale of land
BENSON WAMBUGU
By BENSON WAMBUGU
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Nairobi fraudster Wycliffe Ken Lugwili has been unmasked by a Nairobi court over the sale of a piece of prime property belonging to a couple to an unsuspecting buyer using forged land documents.
The Environment and Land Court has consequently cancelled the transfer of the property after it emerged that the owners, Mr Erwin Stillhard and Summinder Sonia Stillhard, have never sold their property.
LAND
Mr Stillhard and Sonia said they purchased the land in Nairobi’s Lavington neighbourhood on August 20, 1993 for Sh3 million.
All was well until 2016 when the couple lost their original title deed and were issued with a provisional certificate after making an application.
The provisional certificate of title was registered and they continued paying rates to the City County Government until 2018 when the demand for rates was made to Mr Lugwili and Mr Moses Ndirangu.
On inquiry at the rates department, the Stillhards were informed that Mr Lugwili and Mr Ndirangu had on February 13, 2018, changed the ownership details of the property to their own names.
The couple then lodged a suit at the High Court against Mr Zeverchand Ramji, who bought the property, Mr Lugwili, Mr Ndirangu and the chief land registrar. The three did not defend the case.
In court proceedings, Mr Stillhard produced a copy of the transfer dated July 23, 2014 showing that Mr Ramji allegedly purchased the property from Mr Lugwili and Mr Ndirangu for Sh18 million.
PIN CERTIFICATES
Mr Stillhard also produced copies he retrieved from the rates department and the pin certificates for Mr Lugwili and Mr Ndirangu and a copy of the title, which reflected the transfer to Mr Ramji and was registered on May 27, 1998.
He again tabled a copy of his advocate’s letter to the chief land registrar urging him to investigate the fraudulent transfer of the land. He told Justice Kossy Bor that he had never transferred the property to any person.
Justice Bor said the change of the ratepayers’ details at the rates department of Nairobi County from Mr Stillhard’s to Mr Lugwili and Mr Ndirangu’s names was not proper and ought not to have been done.
“The court is satisfied that Mr Stillhard and Sonia and have established their claim to the property and that the Mr Lugwili and Mr Ndirangu did not acquire any rights or interest over land and buildings that they could legally transfer to Mr Ramji,” ruled the judge.
SCANDALS
The land fraud case is the latest among a string of scandals that have dogged Mr Lugwili.
In May this year, he was among nine suspects, among them seven foreigners, arrested with fake $190 million in Nairobi’s Kilimani area.
Mr Lugwili, aka General DeFao, is also a licensed arms dealer through a company called Vic Technology Systems Ltd.
In police statements he recorded after he was arrested over the fake currency, he claimed to be a businessman who deals in used cars and also owned a security company.
His first major collision with authorities was 16 years ago when was he sentenced to nine years on September 9, 2003, for defrauding various businessmen while impersonating Mr Alfred Gitonga, who was then an aide to former President Mwai Kibaki.
CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES
His sentence, however, translated to three years as the sentences were to run concurrently.
A month later, he was sentenced to two years in prison for trying to defraud former Kenya Pipeline managing director Ezekiel Komen of Sh20,000.
What crowned his criminal activities in the city is when he presented himself to the police to deny claims that his Mercedes Benz dumped the body of Mercy Keino on Waiyaki Way on the night of June 7, 2011, when the university student died under mysterious circumstances.
He denied any wrongdoing, saying that he only saw the body on the road and swerved to avoid it.

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