BY SAM ALFAN.
Priority Limited has said it is the bona-fide and legitimate registered owner of disputed land on which Weston Hotel in Nairobi stands.
While responding to a suit filed by Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA), the company said it has all rights of a registered owner, statutory in equity and fact and cannot be faulted through the petition filed.
“The 3rd respondent (Priority limited) asserts the Torrens common law doctrine. The register bearing our name as the registered owner, duly created, maintained, managed and controlled by the state, at the material times, serves as conclusive evidence of the ownership and indefeasibility of the priority Limited’s title as the proprietor and owners of all rights and interests on and over the land parcel,” said the company.
The company added that it was the owner of the land parcel to the exclusion of all others who are not registered including KCAA.
Priority limited further added that KCAA has no worthy evidence and has never been the owner or registered proprietor hence has no rights or entitlements to the parcel as pleaded in the petition.
“The allegations of improprieties, illegalities or fraud on its titles are false and KCAA is put to strict proof on each and every allegations made and have not been materially challenged by making argument which do not amount to constitute evidence of impropriety, illegality or fraud as alleged.
The company denied any impropriety in its registration, unlawfulness on any allocation to the parcel land. It further denied committing any acts of illegality fraud, corruption on any dealings in relation to the parcel of land including allotments, registrations or conveyances.
Priority Limited also denies affecting any forcible eviction of the KCAA, DCA or any employees and allegations that it caused or is responsible the petitioner for any prejudice, inconvenience, and interruption of KCAA on account of any alleged or purported strategic location.
The company dismissed claims of grabbing any public land as alleged by KCAA and denied being beneficiary of any fraud or corruption allegedly abetted by the National Land Commission or by Weston Hotel Limited and Moment Investment Limited.
Priority Limited denied any allegations of conspiracy to defraud KCAA, any parcel party of its parcel and decline to admit any allegations on its dealing with the parcel.
The company further declined to admit effecting any conveyance of parcel at any under value and that any value placed on the parcel of land was at its discretion in the free market economy under which transaction is done and the company makes no admission on the alleged illegal sale.
Court blocked the valuation, sub-division, sale and transfer of the controversial land on which Weston Hotel in Nairobi stands.
The court stopped any plans on the controversial parcel, pending the outcome of the ownership dispute lodged by the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA).
Environment and Land Court Judge Bernard Eboso imposed the sanctions on National Land Commission (NLC), Weston Hotel Ltd, Priority Ltd and Monene Investments Ltd following and urgent application by the State agency.
The Judge stopped the implementation of the decision made by the NLC on January 25 allowing the owners of the hotel to pay compensation to the agency at the market value to enable it to purchase alternative land.
The disputed public land had been acquired by the defunct Directorate of Civil Aviation (DCA) in the early 1990s for the construction of its headquarters.
Justice Eboso directed lawyer Stephen Biko Ligunya to serve the three firms with court papers to facilitate the hearing of the matter on July 4.
In court papers, KACC argued that Priority Ltd and Monene Investments sold the land to Weston Hotel Ltd in June 2007 at the deliberately undervalued price of Sh10milion. The two firms, the documents state, then embarked on rapid construction without obtaining mandatory development approvals from relevant State regulatory agencies.
“They procured registration as owners of the land through illegality, fraud and corruption and forcibly evicted the DCA and its employees. They forcibly removed the DCA’s costly air navigation equipment and spares and dumped them at sites in Industrial Area and Athi River, causing their degradation from harsh exposure to the elements,” the agency protested in its petition lodged by Rachier and Amollo Advocates.
The owners of Weston Hotel Ltd had deliberately failed to comply with KCAA’s orders to stop construction, despite clear indications that the development along Langata Road posed a threat to air navigation at the adjacent Wilson Airport, the agency said.