Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has moved to court to recover 1,136 acres of public land worth Sh1.6 billion that was allegedly grabbed from Egerton University.
The anti-graft body says in court papers that the expansive land was grabbed by private persons in collusion with officials from the Ministry of Lands.
The EACC says the land was set aside for use as a public utility reserved for Egerton Agricultural College in 1960- the predecessor of Egerton University and the institution has been using the land to rear livestock and grow crops for research purposes.
The land was then registered in the name of Cantie Ha Ltd and was transferred to Kipruto Kemboi in 1970.
“The Defendants knew or ought to have known that the suit property was public property and comprised of University land, which has at all material times been occupied by Egerton University,” the EACC says in the court documents.
Environment and Land court judge Anne Omollo certified the case as urgent and directed the parties to appear before her for a hearing on March 21.
The court heard that the land was gifted to the university by Lord Egerton of Tatton in 1960 but a lease was fraudulently issued in the name of Cantie Ha ltd in 1961. The move was illegal because the land officials did not have the authority or powers to allocate the land to private individuals.
The commission rushed to court claiming that Mr Kembo is likely to sub-divide and dispose of the land and which will be difficult to recover.
The EACC wants the court to cancel the title deed issued in favour of the current owners and a new title deed issued in favour of Egerton University.
“A permanent injunction restraining the 2nd Defendant by himself, his agents, servants, employees, assigns or any other person whatsoever from charging, transferring, leasing, wasting, entering, developing, sub-dividing, occupying or dealing in any manner dealing with land,” the petition reads.
The Commission also said it is also finalizing criminal aspects of the matter with a view to recommending the prosecution of the land officials and other persons involved in the fraudulent acquisition of the land.