The High Court in Nyeri has dismissed an application filed by a man claiming to be the biological son of the late former President Mwai Kibaki.
Jacob Ocholla, 62, wanted the court to compel Kibaki’s children Judy Kibaki, David Kagai, Jimmy Kibaki and Anthony Githinji to reveal whether his name was included in a will he alleges was drafted by their father before his death. He also wanted the family compelled to recognize him as the firstborn son of Kibaki and give him an equal share of the former president’s wealth.
He also wanted the court to determine who will be appointed as administrator of Kibaki's estate, expressing fears that he may be excluded from the distribution process as he was ignored by the former president’s family when he attempted to reach out to them on the same.
On Monday, judge Florence Muchemi dismissed the application, stating that Ocholla’s plea had been overtaken by events since Kibaki’s children have accepted probate by filing a succession suit at the High Court’s Family Division in Milimani, Nairobi.
“Currently, the citees in the suit–Judy Kibaki, Jimmy Kibaki, David Kagai and Anthony Githinji–have done what Ocholla wanted them to do,” judge Muchemi ruled as quoted by Nation.
The judge further directed that the matter is heard at the High Court in Nairobi as Ocholla has already filed a response to the succession suit in Nairobi.
Through lawyer Omoke Morara, Ocholla requested to have the matter moved from Nairobi to Nyeri, but Justice Muchemi ruled that even if this was done, it would still be enjoined with his succession suit.
“Therefore, staying the matter by giving it another mention date will not serve any useful purpose as it is already before another court,” said the judge.
Ocholla says he was born in Nairobi’s Kaloleni estate in 1960 and grew up not knowing that Kibaki was his father until his mother made the disclosure in 1982, a year after his adoptive father, who hailed from the Luo community, passed away.
“When I turned 21, the person I knew as my father died. A year later, my mom disclosed to me that the man who had raised me was not my biological father. She told me she was going to talk to my father and introduce me to him, which she did after a month or so,” Ocholla told Standard Digital in a past interview.
“I never expected it to be the late president [Kibaki]. It’s not been easy for me having grown up speaking and thinking that I was Luo only to realize 22 years later that I was not from the lakeside tribe. I wish to state clearly that I am not the brother to the late president, I am his biological son.”
From then on, Ocholla claims he remained in constant touch with Kibaki and would occasionally visit his Muthaiga residence and official office in Nyari to exchange pleasantries.