Woman ordered to surrender a Sh50 million Nairobi house
The High Court yesterday ordered a Nairobi woman to surrender a Sh50 million house that she sold 11 years ago while in a hospital bed battling mental illness.
Justice Grace Nzioka directed Monica Jackline Wambui to hand over the prime property in spite of not having received any payment in 2009 for the disputed sale.
Although the judge acknowledged that Ms. Wambui was suffering and is still recovering from depression, she observed a sale agreement Wambui entered into on January 13, 2009 is legal and should be enforced.
Justice Nzioka ruled that by the time Wambui was wrote to her lawyer to cancel the transaction, the contract had already been concluded and the title deed already transferred to Lucy Wairimu Mwangi.
“I have considered the evidence analysed herein and I find that there are no factors established to vitiate the sale agreement entered between Ms. Mwangi and Ms. Wambui.
The contract of sale of the suit property was basically concluded on the date of the sale agreement was signed and consideration received in full,” Justice Nzioka declared in a judgement on May 18.
Mwangi had moved to court on March 17, 2009 and listed Wambui as first defendant and Wambui’s mother Pauline Mukuhi Ng’ang’a as the second defendant.
She accused the two of depriving her possession of the house in spite of having paid Sh13.7 million to Wambui’s lawyer Chege Wainaina.
However, Wambui told the court that the sale agreement was obtained in a fraudulent manner given that at the time she signed the agreement, she was suffering from depression and could not be competent to enter into a contract.
Equally, Wambui has not received any payment from the sale as she had written to the lawyer to cancel the deal.
She further told the court that she was holding in trust the four-bedroom villa situated along Dennis Pritt Road for her then 11-year-old daughter who is now 20 years old.
Her former husband Garry Vincent Corbit had bought the house. The property is known as Maisonette No.6 Casablanca Villas on LR No. 209/5827.
“Wambui’s case is that she did not freely consent to or execute the sale agreement, as at a time of executing the agreement, she did not understand or comprehend what was going on due to the fact that she was mentally impaired, due to illness and other factors known that the buyer and lawyer Chege Wainaina who acted for both the seller and buyer.”
However Justice Nzioka said that although Wambui was sick, the law recognised the contract she entered into as legitimate.
“However, on general observation, this matter presented a very sad case before the court, and material conditions of Ms. Wambui was considered and seriously regretted.
The court however, evaluated the matter painfully on the legal principles of law as expected. Wambui is wished a quick recovery from her condition,” Nzioka stated.
Ms. Wambui says she is dissatisfied with the ruling and has already through lawyer Danstan Omari filed an appeal.
Wambui accuses her former lawyer Chege of inducing her to sell the property with unstable mental state and some of the documents and her ‘signatures were forged’.
Ms. Wambui in court papers says her lawyer then frustrated a tenant who was living in Casablanca Villa by unreasonably increasing rent before exerting pressure on her to sell it.
Wambui had appointed Chege as her lawyer between 2005 to 2009 to handle all her affairs including a separation case against former husband Corbit.
The lawyer had also been appointed as a sole agent for collecting rent from her two properties.
According to court documents, he managed to convince Wambui to have a distress sale of one of her apartments for Sh8.7 million, which was later transferred to Posh Holdings Limited, a company where the lawyer holds 50 percent of shares.