Top athletes roped in tussle over Sh200m Eldoret land

Thursday, May 16th, 2024 02:45 | By
World 3,000m record holder Daniel Komen at Milimani law courts when he was charged with forgery and obtaining money by false pretenses, in 2017.
World 3,000m record holder Daniel Komen at Milimani law courts when he was charged with forgery and obtaining money by false pretenses, in 2017. PHOTO/Print

A group of elite athletes have been dragged into a tussle over the ownership of a matrimonial property valued at over Sh 100 million pitting former runner Daniel Komen and his wife Joyce Kimosp Komen, a senior university lecturer at Moi University in Uasin Gishu County.

Ms Komen who is also the university’s Head of Department, Management Science, has sued the runners led by former World marathon record holder and double Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge and Birmin Kipruto, the former men 3,000 metre steeplechase winner in 2008 Beijing Olympic games winner.

In her case filed through lawyer Patrick Kibii, Joyce has also dragged in court Komen as well as cereal farmers-cum-businessmen Felix Kipchoge Lagat and Peter  Kipsigei Lagat over the multi-million shillings property she claims ownership of.

At the centre of the vicious legal battle before Justice Reuben Nyakundi of Eldoret High Court is a prime agricultural land measuring 200 acres in the parcel known as Southern East of Eldoret Municipality in Uasin Gishu County L.R No. 8638/26.

She is battling to have the disputed multi-million shillings property back arguing the sale process of their matrimonial property was illegal.

Four defendants

Ms Komen says that she was shocked to learn that the first to fourth defendants namely, Eliud Kipchoge, Brimin Kipruto, Felex Kipchoge Lagat and Peter Kipsigei Lagat were in the suite property claiming that they had bought it.

“I have also learned with shock that the property was sold at just Sh10 million which represents just 10 percent of the actual value of the land,” averred Ms Komen.

She has accused her husband of selling the matrimonial property to the four defendants without involving her despite having equal shares in the disputed parcel of land.

The university argues that the purported sale was riddled with fraud and deceit noting that there was a way a property of such a magnitude can go for such consideration.

Ms Komen added:”I personally took various loans to fund the purchase and development of the property which was the only family home as I married Komen at a time when he had no place to call a home”.

She stated that there was no consent property obtained from the land control board since she was not invited to attend the board meeting.

Chief’s consent

“I talked to the area chief Mr Tarus who ought to have given his consent in normal circumstances but he has informed me that he never wrote any letter to the Land Control Board,” said Ms Komen.

According to Ms Komen, she contributed a substantial amount of money towards development of the property and that the suite property is currently worth well over Sh100 million.

“My husband has never mentioned it to me that he had sold the land, leave alone the intention to sell the property,” argued Ms Komen in her court document.

She informed the court that the disputed property was acquired and developed by joint efforts of the couple during their marriage but registered in the name of her husband in trust of the family.

Ms Komen added that she got married to her husband on November 5, 1998 through a church wedding in Eldoret and has been blessed with three children.

She has listed five constitutional issues that she wants the judge to determine key among them whether, as a wife of Daniel Komen, has a right or not to be involved in a transaction involving a family property.

Ms Komen further wants the court to determine whether the purported transaction conducted on February 8, 2012 between her husband and other defendants is a clear violation of the constitutional rights.

The court is also expected to determine whether the purported transaction is nullity for violating clear provisions of the law.

Ms Komen is urging the court to determine whether as a spouse, she is entitled to equal share of the property in question and in addition, whether she is entitled to costs and any other relief.

 In his rejoinder Komen says that he is an international athlete having participated in several local and international events.

Komen also dismissed a claim by his wife that they jointly owned the matrimonial property arguing that he is the sole registered owner of the suite property Eldoret South East of Eldoret Municipality L.R No 8638/26 measuring approximately 89.03 hectares.

He however, admits that the plaintiff is his wife who they got married on November 28 1998 and that they were blessed with children.

“It is true we jointly applied for a loan of  Sh6 million with my wife to settle the outstanding balance of purchase price of the said suit property to the former owners of land, the family of Kwambai and Chesire exclusive of other developments on the land done by my wife,”said Komen.

Komen now wants the issues raised by his wife to be sorted out of the court amicably between the couple stating that his request was the best option in the case.

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