Kenya: Judge nullifies sale of Somalia embassy.

Halkaan ka akhri

Somalia government has reclaimed its Sh28 million embassy premises in Nairobi.

The property in Spring Valley, Nairobi, was returned by the High Court after it emerged it was illegally sold to a couple.

The court also ordered the foreign government to refund the couple the Sh15 million purchase price plus Sh600,000 paid for stamp duty.

Attorney General Amos Wako, the Registrar of Titles and Commissioner of Lands are to ensure the title deed is reverted to the Somalia government, the court ordered.

Justice Msaga Mbogholi yesterday said a former diplomat who carried out the sale had no authority.

Former ambassador to Kenya Ahmed Sheikh Mohammud carried out the sale transaction in 1994 when there was civil war in Somalia.

Somali ambassador Ali Nur in Nairobi yesterday, after the High Court made the landmark ruling. [PHOTO: EVANS HABIL/STANDARD]

He then left Nairobi and was given asylum in the UK.

Yesterday, the judge said a certificate issued by Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka in a criminal case saved the embassy from losing the property.

The judge said Kalonzo, who was then the Foreign Affairs minister, did not know about the sale transaction when issuing the certificate.

Saving grace

“It has now turned out that this certificate is the saving grace not only for the plaintiffs, but also for Somalia,” he said.

The judge spoke in the case filed by Musa Hersi Fahiye, Mohammed Omar and Republic of Somalia against Suleiman Rahemtulla Omar, Zarina Suleiman Omar, Wako, Registrar of Titles and the Commissioner of Lands.

The letter dated February 25, 1995, indicated Kenya did not recognise the Somalia embassy and its diplomats in terms of the Vienna Convention, following the collapse of Said Barre’s government in January 1991.

The judge said other than three diplomats in the criminal case, the certificate extended to the ex-ambassador, who allegedly executed the sale transaction.

He said the property was sold at Sh15 million.

The judge said the couple who bought the property should have checked with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs if at all Mohammud was still the ambassador.

“The envoy’s names were missing in the diplomatic directory and the property was not sold in vacant position,” the judge said.

The court said an advocate acting for the embassy should not have taken the ambassador’s instructions to sell the property at face value.

It emerged a document purportedly sent from the Somalia government by its Foreign Affairs coordinator allowing the sale was fake.

Relying on evidence produced in person by Somalia Foreign Affairs minister Ali Ahmed Jama, the co-ordinator’s position did not exist in the ousted government.

Jama, who appeared in court to give evidence last year, said the former ambassador would be arrested and charged in court if he sets foot in Somali.

Source: The Standard

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