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Oscar Sudi Accused Of Sh3.5B Land Grab By Kibor’s Family

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Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi (left) at the disputed land in Kesses, Uasin Gishu County

The family of colonial paramount chief Kibor arap Talai wants Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi arrested and charged with contempt of court after he allegedly started fencing off a section of 2,000-acre land belonging to the family.

The aggrieved family says the legislator had gone ahead with the fencing in defiance of an active High Court order stopping him from engaging in any activity on the disputed property.

Talai, who was the Uasin Gishu Ford Kenya branch chairman, died in 2012 aged 95.

Alexander Jaoko, a lawyer representing the family told an Eldoret Court that Sudi is using his influence to forcibly acquire a section of Sh3.5 billion estate, despite the existence of caveat pending property succession disputes.

Jaoko was referring to a case where six family members of the former paramount chief have been charged with the destruction of property in a land that had allegedly been irregularly acquired by the lawmaker through the ex-chef’s daughter-in-law.

In the case, the paramount chief’s daughter-in-law Eunice Talai who is accused of working in cohorts with the MP accused her in-laws of destroying her property worth Sh600,000.

Property damage

Her in-laws have accused her of illegally selling to the MP a section of family property without the knowledge and consent of estate administrator Nancy Talai.

On Monday, six family members of the Talai family, among them Nancy, were charged with malicious damage of property contrary to section 339 of penal code.

The court heard that Nancy Talai, Margret Talai, Lydia Talai, Simon Talai, Philemon Kiptoo and Collins Talai on March 22, 2023, on land parcel no 7991/Kesses at Moi University area, unlawfully damaged the fencing poles and barbed wire all valued at Sh674,375 property of Eunice Talai.

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The accused persons denied the charge and were each released on Sh100,000 bond with an alternative cash bail of Sh50,000.

Efforts to deny them bond were thwarted by the court with the presiding magistrate Christine Menya ruling in their favour.

Pre-bail reports

The prosecution had objected to their release on bond claiming that the environment on the ground was hostile and that if they were released on bond, there was a likelihood of attacks.

However, Menya rejected the application by the prosecution since there was no probation report in court to support the claims by the State counsel Jamlek Murithi.

In her ruling, Menya noted that the majority of the accused were elderly women and it was not right to continue detaining them at Eldoret GK Women Remand Prison due to the failure of probation officers to present in court their report in relation to the case as earlier directed.

“It is unfortunate that this court had directed probation officers to present in court pre-bail reports today but they have failed with no proper explanation. Due to the age of some of the accused, this court has released all of them on bond,” ruled the magistrate.

She directed the matter to be mentioned on April 12 before the Chief Magistrate.

The defense lawyer said the matter before the court emanated from a civil case where the High Court had restrained the Kapseret MP from interfering with the property.

In the restraining orders, the Eldoret Land and Environment Court directed that each of the beneficiaries of the multi-billion shillings estate will continue to occupy the land they occupied as of the date of the former chief’s death.

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Not for sale

The case was filed as case number 19 of 2020 with Nancy Talai as the first plaintiff, Joshua Talai as the second plaintiff and Sudi as the defendant.

The children of the paramount chief’s first wife, the late Tapyatin Talai, have accused Sudi of trying to grab their land situated near Moi University.

In March 2020, Sudi arrived at the disputed land accompanied by a group of youths, who removed “not for sale” signposts on the farm.

The property administrator Nancy Talai has demanded the MP present in court ownership documents of the disputed property.

 “Let the MP who wants to grab our family property present in court documents that show he genuinely bought the land. As a family, we are not aware of any transaction where Sudi bought land,” she said outside Eldoret Prison after she was bailed out on Monday.

However, the MP’s lawyer Richard Cheruiyot claimed that Sudi had entered into an agreement with Eunice Talai to lease the land and in turn settle debts as well as pay school fees for her children.

The lawyer indicated that Eunice had agreed that when the succession case is concluded, she would sell the land for the amount the MP would have spent on her.

Eunice has confirmed entering an agreement with the MP.

She said the MP would lease the 30 acre-piece for ten years and that she would sell to him a portion to recover the money he spends on her family.

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