Darkwood Investment lawyer Phillip Nyachoti leaving Milimani law courts.
BY SAM ALFAN.
Department of Defence is now pursuing out of court negotiations with a company that has claiming it owns the 988-acre land valued at Sh40 billion, that was allegedly grabbed by the Department of Defence in 2005.Lawyers representing Kenya Defence Forces and Darkwood Investment told High Court judge Mumbi
Ngugi they require 21 more days to complete negotiations touching on the land in Nairobi.
The disputed land in Embakasi, which houses DoD barracks, has been the subject of a legal battle
with Darkwood for years. Darkwood claims it bought the land from the now defunct Nairobi City Council in 2001 at Sh40
million, and that the valued on the parcel has risen to Sh40 billion.
The company moved to court last year seeking orders from the court to restrain DoD from further
encroachment on the said property.
Darkwood’s lawyer Phillip Nyachoti then said the company had on several occasions requested DoD
to stop encroaching on its land, but the plea fell on deaf ears.
“The land is guarded around the clock and the applicant (Darkwood) does not have access. The
Department of Defence has neither compensated the company nor has it paid any rent for it,” the
lawyer said.The company through it lawyer Philip Nyachoti last year asked the High Court to evict the Army from the Embakassi Barracks, claiming it owns the 988-acre land valued at Sh40 billion, that was allegedly grabbed by the Department of Defence in 2005.
The Investments Developer has claimed in suit papers that the Department of Defence (DOD) grabbed the land it says it has a land title to despite the firm having bought it from the Nairobi City Council for Sh40 million in 2001.
It has also claimed that the DOD has in several meetings resolved to hand over the entire parcel of land to Darkwood Investments, but the resolution is yet to be effected.
Darkwood now wants the State to be kicked out of the land and the developments on it put down, or in the alternative the firm be awarded Sh40 billion which it claims to be the current value of the land.
“Before the unlawful invasion there was no prior action by the Central Government to compulsorily acquire Darkwood Investments’ 988 acres of land. The DoD has now commenced some construction and has neither compensated Darkwood nor paid mesne profits for the said use,” said lawyer Nyachoti.
The firm claims that the DoD has ignored several requests to desist from encroaching further on the land, and has fenced it with a perimeter wall that is guarded by armed military personnel round the clock.
“Darkwood has on several occasions requested DoD to desist from trespassing on the land but it has persisted to continue with the trespass. The encroachment was done by DoD for its own purposes without following procedures as laid down in the Land Acquisition Act,” added lawyer Nyachoti.
Darkwood’s director Kenneth Kiptoo Boit has accused the DoD of using its Government influence to possess the land without compensating his firm whose allotment of the land has never been revoked by the County Government.
Mr Boit claims that Darkwood purchased the land with an intention to construct residential buildings, something it is now unable to do as it has been denied access to the land.
“The intention of purchasing the said land was to develop residential houses for commercial sale. As a result of the military encroachment it is extremely difficult to develop the land in view of the military presence,” Mr Boit added.
Lady Justice Mumbi Ngugi directed that the firm through it lawyer Philip Nyachoti to serve Attorney General Githu Muigai who has been sued on behalf of the State. Both Darkwood and the Attorney.
Justice Ngugi granted the parties the 21 days to resolve the issue and further directed the Attorney
General to file his response before June 15 when the matter comes up for mention.
The court asked the parties to settle the issues, failure to which the matter will proceed to full