The National Land Commission (NLC) has defended its decision to have Weston Hotel to compensate Kenya Civil Aviation Authority for the disputed land on which the multi-billion shilling hotel sits.
NLC is standing by its 2019 decision that directed the hotel to pay the aviation sector regulator at market rates instead of having the hotel owned Deputy President William Ruto demolished.
The move comes after Weston told the court that KCAA made mistakes while filing a new case instead of challenging the 2019 decision of the land commission. The regulator is seeking to have the land back in move that must see the hotel demolished.
KCB Bank whose Sh1 billion loan was used to develop the property has joined the list of interested [arties to protect its interests.
KCAA filed a case at the Environment and Land court but the NLC through its director of legal affairs and enforcement Brian Ikol further said the KCAA submitted itself to the commission’s decision and never rejected anything during the proceedings.
Okol said KCAA was wrong when it failed to disclose this fact to the court and or it just had an intent to mislead the court to render an unjust and unfair decision to mislead the court.
The NLC was proposing that the KCAA use the money from Weston to acquire another parcel of land.
Mr Ikol said the documentation relating to the property, currently registered in the name of Weston Hotel Ltd, and support of their claims was received and scrutinised as Weston actively participated in the proceedings before the NLC and were given an opportunity to advance their cases, in strict adherence of the law and a decision rendered thereafter.
According to Mr Ikol, NLC acted in strict conformity with the provisions of the Constitution, fair administrative action and the commission’s Act.
He argues that NLC took into account the KCAA’s omissions and commissions that led to the alleged allocation of the land to Priority Ltd and Monene Investments Ltd and subsequent transfer to Weston.
“That for the avoidance of doubt, the remedy sought by the petitioner would mean that the 1st respondent would turn a blind eye to the 2nd respondent’s rights as a bona fide purchaser and further act in violation of section 14 of the NLC Act which allows the 1st respondent to issue consequential orders it deems appropriate in a claim, the Constitution of Kenya and Fair Administrative Action,” Ikol said.
He further added that the commission adequately addressed the issues brought before it and made its recommendations on January 22, 2019.
NLC recognised and emphasised that the KCAA’s entitlement to the land remained unchallenged and noted that Weston and initial owners, Priority Limited and Monene Investments Limited, obtained the registration of the land irregularly.
KCAA challenged that decision arguing that instead of ordering restitution for the land the commission was unlawful because it was acquired through unlawful means.
The disputed public land was acquired by the defunct Directorate of Civil Aviation (DCA) in the early 1990s for the construction of the aviation regulator’s head offices.
KCAA now wants the court to nullify the NLC’s decision together with all orders.