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Man who took DP Ruto to court over his grabbed land dies

A displaced man who in 2013 won a landmark case against Deputy President William Ruto over his grabbed parcel land during the 2008 poll chaos has died.

Adrian Gilbert Muteshi breathed his last on Tuesday aged 86, according to an obituary placed by the family in Wednesday’s Daily Nation newspaper.

The family did not, however, disclose what caused the death of the former Personnel Manager with the defunct East African Airways.

In June 2013, deputy president was ordered to pay Sh5 million to the post-election violence victim for illegally occupying his land.

Mr Muteshi had accused Mr Ruto of hatching a plot to grab his 100-acre farm in Uasin Gishu at the height of the post-election violence when he had fled for safety.

The High Court in Nairobi ruled that Mr Muteshi had proved that the property was his and that he had been deprived of it.

Mr Ruto stated in court that he was an unsuspecting buyer who heard that some land was being sold and conducted due diligence before purchasing it from people he believed were the owners of the property.

The DP, who at the time was set to stand trial at the International Criminal Court over the poll chaos, told the court he had offered to vacate the land in an out-of-court settlement.

But the deal collapsed when Mr Muteshi demanded compensation and payment of the cost of his suit and lost revenue during the period his land was occupied.

The matter went to trial and Mr Ruto chose not to give oral evidence in court and sent businessman Hosea Ruto, who was involved in the land sale, to testify on his behalf.

Lady Justice Rose Ougo concluded that the evidence showed that Mr Muteshi owned the land and that he still possessed the title deed.

She also concluded that the land was irregularly and fraudulently subdivided and sold to Mr Ruto but did not hold him liable in the irregular dealings on the land.

“I can only attribute the irregular acts to Hosea Ruto (Mr Ruto’s witness) as honourable Ruto chose not to testify,” Justice Ougo said then.

The businessman was the only witness Mr Ruto presented in court in his defence.