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County govt fights Sh500 million claim

The Nairobi County government has found itself in a legal battle with a Nairobi based law firm which had earlier saved it from a Sh13.2 billion claim by the central government.

The former ally, Munikah & Company Advocates is seeking overSh573million as legal fees for services rendered to the defunct City Council of Nairobi, now replaced by the County government.

Nairobi County government through lawyer Philip Maloba has filed an application seeking to defeat the claim by the law firm on the grounds that Samson Masaba Munikah trading in the name and style of Munikah & Company Advocates was not in possession of a valid practicing certificate at the time of drawing and sending the itemized bill upon the city council.

The County government in a supporting affidavit signed by Ms Lilian Ndegwa, Interim County Secretary said that, “there is no cure for drawing of documents by an unqualified person and hence the itemized bill sent to the City Council of Nairobi on March 31, 2011 by Mr Masaba and the entire suit ought to be struck out.”

Munikah & Company Advocates had been contracted by the defunct City Council of Nairobi to recover all outstanding rates levied on the land owned by government ministries amounting to Sh1.56billion.

In response however, the then Attorney-General Amos Wako acting on behalf of commissioner of lands, filed a Sh13.2 billion counter-claim against the council.

The application by the State was dismissed in a ruling delivered in October 2008 paving the way for the municipal council to recover the land rates from the State.

Munikah & Company Advocates then tied his legal fee to the Sh13.2 billion and approached the Nairobi City Council on March 31, 2011 with a draft Advocate and client itemized bill of costs.