Ngilu land case withdrawn by National Land Commision
15 May 2014, 17:45
Nairobi - The National Land Commission has withdrawn its case against Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu on the eve of the closure of registries.
Lands Commission’s lawyer Waweru Gatonye told High Court judge Isaac Lenaola that they had been instructed to with draw the case.
Gatonye and Stella Munyi, representing the Lands Cabinet Secretary had initially told court that the two teams are in talks with the Attorney General over the closure of registries dispute which marks its deadline today.
“I have been instructed to withdraw this case,” said Gatonye.
Both the Commission and Ms Ngilu were to report to court on the next cause of action having earlier reported that they were at advanced stages of discussions over the alleged dispute.
And now Ms Ngunyi said the talks had resulted to an agreement that the Ms Ngilu team should be allowed to finish what it had started and also had similar instructions of withdrawing the matter from court.
“The matter is marked as withdrawn,” said Justice Isaac Lenaola.
The said talks were determining a factor on whether the case filed by the Commission seeking an uncontrolled access to the central registry, Nairobi registry and the banking Hall to the Commission’s staff offices and the public at large at Ardhi House, would proceed to a hearing or not.
However as business at Ardhi House is meant to kick off as usual next Monday, the Commission consequently failed to stop Ms Ngilu’s decision to forge ahead with the closure of the said registries as per the notices in local daily newspapers on May 2 and 4.
The judge advised lawyers John Khaminwa and Christine Aooko who were representing the commission in a similar case to also with draw their case since it would be irrelevant to proceed as there is nothing to stop with the deadline having reached.
The judge also directed that all parties in the two suits should appear back in court to confirm that the matter had been settled internally.
Mr Khaminwa and Ms Aoko were representing businessman Benson Riitho who had moved to court on Tuesday seeking the suspension of the notices which he argued that had resulted to Ms Ngilu interfering with the Commission’s functions.
Whilst the land Commission and Mr Riitho faulted Ngilu’s decision, her actions received full back up from President Uhuru Kenyatta.
The said notices placed in local newspapers as an announcement by the lands Cabinet Secretary, the lands directorate said it had set up a programme of re-engineering land business processes with a view of reducing the turnaround time on service delivery.
The notice signed by Ngilu also said that undertaking an audit exercise and reorganization of the land registries was the first task and the lands directorate would start with the closure of registries in Nairobi from May 5 to May 16 and business resumes on May 19.
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