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Witnesses rule out forgery in Sh500M Karen land case

A former administration officer at Old Mutual told the court on Friday that the original owner of the Sh 500 million disputed Karen land never sold it to prominent businesswoman Agnes Kagure.

According to Brigitte Kosgey, the late Roger Bryan Robson,wanted part of his house turned into a church and his land turned into a children’s park for them to come and see what nature was all about. “He wanted to create a foundation like that of Wangari Mathai,” she told Justice John Onyiego.

Kosgey, who claimed to have been a personal friend to the late Robson told the court that she dealt with the deceased between 2009 to 2012 when he was trying to recover proceeds from a policy he had with the Old Mutual company.

She told the court that Robson who died in 2012 was already suffering from health complications and used a walking stick as he was very weak and had trouble with his hands. Kagure has accused Spencer of forging Robson’s will claiming she bought the disputed piece of land in Karen from the deceased, for Sh100 million in 2011.

Kosgey in her testimony, narrated to the Court the circumstances that led to the preparation of power of Attorney(PoA) by Robson which he issued to lawyer Guy Spencer Elms. She told the court that Robson’s caretaker had approached the Old Mutual seeking payment to his policy that had reached its maturity stage.

The insurance company however established that Robson did not have any original documents that could be associated to the policy and advised that Robson needed a Power of Attorney to enable payment of the same.

According Kosgey, it is at this stage that she approached Robson and informed him that the Old Mutual required him to get a POA and he said he would speak to his lawyer Guy Elms as he helped him with all his affairs. Kosgey told the Court that Robson had informed him that he had no wife or children and his closest living relative was his brother Michael Robson who lived and still lives in England.

According to Kosgey, Robson had confirmed to her that he had appointed Guy Elms as his executor of his Will that he had signed in 1997 and also issued him with a power of attorney. He had confirmed that Guy Elms held all his papers.

“Robson was like a father to me, I don’t believe he wanted his property to go to anyone,” she told the Court.

Two advocates who also testified in the case, Lilian lofty and Nafysa Adam confirmed to the court that they respectively prepared and witnessed the execution of the Power of Attorney (POA). The two were working at Raffman Dhanji Elms & Virdee Advocates at the time the POA was prepared in 2010 and where Guy Elms, accused of forging the same is a partner.

Lilian Lofty, currently an Advocate and partner at the law firm of Daly and Inammdar confirmed to the court that indeed she prepared the POA following Roger’s request. When asked if she had any documentation to support the aforementioned request, she said she has received the instructions during a meeting with Roger.

She also gave details of the standard practice at her former law firm when a file was opened for a client that the reference number, which also appeared on the POA, had her initials. Nafysa Adam currently a senior Associate at Hamilton Harrison and Mathews Advocates told the court that she met Roger in 2010 and witnessed him signing the POA granting powers to Guy Elms.

Her practice is to only witness a person’s signature if they actually sign in front of her. In the suit, Kagure, is seeking ownership of the property with claims that she purchased it from Mr Roger Robson in 2011 for Sh100 million in cash before he died.

Kagure accused Guy Elms of forging his client’s Will and POA in his efforts to transfer the property to himself. A criminal case in which Guy Elms was being accused of fraud on the same documents was however withdrawn by the Director of Public Prosecutions(DPP) in March this year due to lack of evidence.

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