A ruling on a dispute between a judge and Equity Bank over the sale of a Sh65 million house will be delivered on November 16.
After the parties concluded their submissions on Tuesday, Mr Justice George Odunga said he would make his ruling next month on the ownership of the house in the up-market Lower Kabete area.
Mr Justice Odunga also extended orders barring the bank from alienating, selling or transferring the property to any other person, besides Mr Justice GBM Kariuki.
Mr Justice Kariuki is seeking an order of specific performance compelling the bank to meet part of the deal and transfer the home L.R 2951/284, complete with a swimming pool and a block of servants quarters to him.
He is accusing the bank of accepting an offer from a third party after he had concluded the contract to own the property.
But the bank, through the company secretary and director of corporate strategy, Ms Mary Wamae, says the judge had only proposed to buy the property like other interested parties.
The judge argues that the bank’s actions in the transaction were designed to fraudulently subvert the sale of the property to defeat his rights of possession.
Mr Kariuki moved to court on June 13 when his lawyer, Mr Macharia Kahonge, argued and obtained interim orders restraining the bank from selling the house to a third party pending the resolution of the dispute.
The judge who was recently transferred to Nairobi from Kericho, alleges that on May 9, Equity Bank agents drew to his attention that one of its customers, Mr Maina Mwangi, had defaulted in paying a mortgage and the bank had served him with a statutory notice and foreclosed the loan.
“It is the bank, which confirmed that indeed it was looking for a suitable purchaser to recover the balance of the loan amount secured on the charge,” says Mr Kariuki in a sworn affidavit.
On May 18, the judge claims he accompanied a senior bank manager in the debt recovery unit Mr Boniface Ratemo and the alleged defaulter to inspect the house and evaluate its worth before making any financial commitment on the property.
Satisfied that the house met the required standards, Mr Justice Kariuki says he made a written offer to the bank for Sh65 million upon confirmation by Mr Ratemo that he had authority to sell the premises.
But the bank’s head of debt recovery unit Ms Purity Kinyanjui disowned Mr Ratemo’s letter saying he had no authority to bind the bank in the transaction.
Equity is said to have accepted Mr Kariuki’s offer on May 19 and requested him to acknowledge the letter of acceptance by depositing a 10 per cent deposit by May 21 to draw the sale agreement.