Having lived alone, no wife, no children or relatives in Kenya, Roger Bryan Robson felt that his vast land in Karen and the monies in the bank could go to waste, or be grabbed by gluttonous individuals once he died.
In 1997, 15 years to his death, Mr Robson contracted the services of Guy Elms, a British lawyer, to draw up his will that would see his wealth go to purposeful use.
According to the will, the property would be left to charitable organisations in Kenya involved with environment, wildlife, health and education. Also, part of the money would be handed over to Mr Robson’s nephew in the UK.
However, almost immediately after his death, invaders including gospel singer Alex Apoko, famously known as Ringtone, occupied the property claiming ownership. Apoko claimed his uncle owned the property. He later left the property, but not after carting away some of the movable properties owned by Mr Robson.
Before waters could settle, Agnes Kagure, who is now contesting for the Nairobi governorship seat invaded the property and installed his men, preventing execution of the will.
Following the invasion, Mr Elms was unable to execute the will, and the Daily Mail reports that at one time he was held at gunpoint and with life threats over the tussle.
“I was told in no uncertain terms to give up the land and the fight and that if I didn’t their contacts, which are high up in the CID (Criminal Investigations Department) and DPP (Director of Public Prosecutions), would make sure I was arrested and jailed for 17 years,” said Elms.
In court documents, Agnes Kagure claimed that she bought the property for Ksh100 million in cash, since she did not have evidence of bank transfer. She claimed she bought the land in 2011 but did not register the purchase until 2014, after Mr Robson’s death.
At the time of his death Mr Robson only had around Ksh500,000 in his account.
The conveyance documents provided by Ms Kagure and examined by experts showed that the signatures had been forged. Experts argued that in one of the signatures, the writer had a higher pen speed than Mr Robson.
Ms Kagure has since build a perimeter wall around the property, and any effort by Mr Elms to execute his client’s will has been met with threats, with the police threatening to charge him with forgery.
Mr Robson was born in Kenya during the colonial era, and it is claimed that during his life, he was attacked on two occasions and even shot in the head in 1992, as people claimed to be squatters tried to take the land.
“He was an eccentric character. He would tell me people were trying to steal his land, I was a bit skeptical and it seemed a little far-fetched. I had no idea what I was in for. He was a typical white Kenyan, he had property but not a lot of cash. I suspect the reason they targeted Roger’s land was that he was white, a recluse and did not have any obvious relatives in the area,” Mr Elms told the UK publication.
In 2015, Mr Elms obtained a court order evicting Ms Kagure from the property, but the police were reluctant to execute it, leaving Kagure to occupy the land illegally.
True to the threats, in September September 2017, the DPP charged Mr Elms with forgery and abuse of the the Power of Attorney (POA) given to him by Mr Robson in 2010.
This was contrary to deputy director of investigations and forensic services at the National Land Commission (NLC) Antipas Nyanjwa’s findings which concluded that Mr Elms was “a victim of the criminal gangs and land cartels and had been targeted by a criminal investigation for non-existent crimes and malicious prosecution in trumped up charges”.
Owing to “several discrepancies” on the conveyance documents provided by Ms Kagure, NLC termed the documents as “outright forgery”.
The photo used in the document was of Mr Robson in his 30s, while Kagure claimes to have bought the property while Mr Robson was in his late 60s.
At one time, Mr Robson’s brother who lives in the UK, wrote to the British Foreign Office seeking “effective protection to Mr Elms…. who has been held at gunpoint in his home, shot at whilst in his car, and he and members of his business have received death threats on several occasions.”
Mr Michael Robson of Ledbury claimed that the police, the Land Registry, the Companies Registry and the DPP had collaborated to defeat justice.
“It seems all these bodies are assisting the fraudsters, not the legitimate claimant, my late brother’s executor, Mr Elms,” he said.
So far, the cases have stalled in court.
Following the resignation of Polycarp Igathe as the Nairobi Deputy Governor in 2018, Kagure was one of the potential candidates for the seat, but her nomination was shelved after the case went public.
She is now contesting for the governor’s seat, following the impeachment of Mike Sonko.