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February 26, 2018

[VIDEO] I want my land back, German woman tells Sonko’s relatives

Monika Behrmann with her husband Joseph Lenguris /JOHN CHESOLI
Monika Behrmann with her husband Joseph Lenguris /JOHN CHESOLI

German Monika Behrmann wants Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko’s relatives to vacate the three-and-a-half acres they are occupying in Kilifi.

She said they “trespassed” and occupied it “illegally” after forfeiting a sale agreement.

The plot is number 533 Section III Mainland North, C.R Number 14272.

Behrmann on Saturday produced documents to prove ownership.

The papers are, provisional certificate of title, a court judgment and the forfeited sale agreement.

A court in Mombasa made a ruling on April 11, 2017 giving her possession.

Judge C Yano said Mubia Holdings Limited was listed as owners illegally.

Mubia had “refused” to transfer the ownership to Behrmann even after being paid

According to court records, the German realised the fraud two years after the sale and sought judicial intervention.

The case dragged until 2017, when the judgment was made.

“The plaintiff (Behrmann) stated that upon discovering the fraud perpetuated by the defendant (Mobia), she lodged complaint with the National Land Commission who, after deliberation, determined that the suit property rightly belonged to the plaintiff,” the judgment partly read.

But before the ruling was entered, the case took a new twist.

Caroline Mwelu possessed the suit property without paying the total agreed amount.

The court was told in August 2013, Mwelu - Sonko’s cousin - opted to buy the land at Sh23 million.

She only paid Sh2 million according to the court.

And in 2014, Mwelu “fraudulently incorporated a company known as Mubia Holdings Limited and obtained a provisional certificate of title” without clearing the balance.

The incorporated name is similar to the original company that sold the parcel to Behrmann in 1994.

“In its decision which was produced as an exhibit, the NLC arrived at a conclusion that the provisional title in the defendant’s (Mwelu) name was obtained fraudulently and went ahead to revoke it,” judge Yano said.

But when contacted, Mwelu’s family produced another sale agreement to prove entitlement. According to their document, the agreement with Behrmann was made August 31, 2013.

"The original occupant shall sell and the financier (Mwelu) shall buy the original occupant's interest in the land at an agreed purchase price of Sh23 million," Mwelu’s contract stated.

"The financier shall pay the original occupant Sh500,000 upon execution of this agreement."

The deal said upon payment of the sale price, Mwelu will take full possession of the land and "shall be at liberty to continue occupying and using the land exclusive of everyone else."

Benjamin Musyoki, Mwelu’s lawyer, singed the deal.

It was not clear whether Mwelu paid the total Sh23 million for the land as per her records.

The family only furnished the Star with another agreement showing payment of Sh300,000.

However, after Mwelu got the provisional certificate of title through incorporating Mubia, NLC directed the chief land Registrar to issue title over the property to Behrmann’s name.

The judge also ruled the land Registrar should cancel the registration of Mubia as the owner of the disputed plot.

“The land registrar [should] register Behrmann as the owner of the plot,” the 2017 judgment stated.

The Registrar was ordered to issue a certificate of Title to Behrmann over the land.

Behrmann has the provisional certificate of title which she obtained last year April 20.

A gazette notice in our possession dated July 17, 2017, revoked title for Mwelu and vested it in Behrmann

In January 18, 2013, Behrmann appointed Joseph Lenguris to act as his agent in relation to the plot as seen in the special power of attorney in our custody.

Also, ex-parte chambers summons made on March 2013 said Behrmann is Lenguris wife “and they have been living/residing with her in the suit premises/property since 1994”. This gives him authority over the parcel.

Lenguris has been branded by Mwelu’s family as an “outsider” and an “intruder” out to grab the land.

The family made complaints that Lenguris was assaulting Behrmann and they separated as a result.

Because of “estrangement”, the family argued he could not act as Behrmann’s agent.

The German denied this. She said they are together.

Musyoki, Mwelu’s lawyer, said a case number 351 of 2013 in Mombasa must be heard and determined.

"Until when the case is heard and determined, we cannot pay against the documents that are not genuine. Secondly, our client has a right over that property because she moved in through a legal process and nobody was evicted," hesaid.

He said original occupants handed the property voluntarily and they have hand over documents.

"They should just wait for the matter to be heard and determined and stop prosecuting matters through the press," he said.

But Behrmann on Saturday said, “I want my land back.”

“We don’t have problem with refunding the Sh2 million Mwelu had paid. She forfeited the agreement we had with her,” Lenguris said.

Sonko was sucked-in after he reportedly called Lenguris for a truce. The governor was present at the suit premises January 12 when Lenguris had gone to reposes it. Fracas ensued.

Mwelu’s family is currently occupying the plot.

Lenguris has unsuccessfully tried to repossesses it twice – January 12 and last Saturday -- all ending up with violence.

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