President Kenyatta's cousin, Ngengi Muigai has lost a 25-year court tussle for a 443-acre coffee estate in Kiambu county auctioned by Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) about 10 years ago.
The businessman was dealt a blow on Tuesday after the Court of Appeals dismissed the suit, where he contested the decision by the bank to auction the land after he defaulted a loan.
Judges Roselyn Nambuye, Milton Makhandia and Kathurima M’Inoti ruled that all issues relating to the suit had been conclusively litigated in different courts, stating that it was in the interest of justice that the case is laid to rest.
The bank auctioned Muigai’s Muiri Coffee Estate Limited in 2007 for Sh70 million, after the firm’s sister company, Benjo Amalgamated Limited, defaulted on a loan it took in 1989.
Since 1992, Benjo has been on the corridors of justice seeking to block KCB from selling the land over failure to pay the loan arrears. A total of 14 suits have been filed in court over the dispute.
Ngengi told the court that KCB auctioned the Sh3 billion coffee estate to Bidii for only Sh70 million, arguing that the sale was in bad faith, but the bank maintained that it only exercised its statutory duty over the land through a consent that was entered between the parties in 1992.
In its ruling, the Appellate court dismissed the case on the validity of the consent, stating that it had been affirmed in all previous suits.
“It’s time the respondents accepted the inevitable despite the consequences such a possibility portends to it and stops further litigation on this long-running dispute which has all been about KCB’s exercise of its statutory power of sale and accounts,” the judges said.