The High Court has ordered United States International University-Africa (USIU-A) to pay city lawyer Paul Ndung’u Ksh152 million for firing him.
According to court records, the lawyer was fired for failing to divulge his past dealings in a 20-acre piece of land that the institution has been fighting over with former President Daniel Arap Moi and US-based businessman George Kiongera.
Initially, the institution had filed an application to High Court Judge Stephen Okong’o to stop the lawyer from demanding payment until the case about the land in Muthaiga, Nairobi, which he represented was heard and determined.
Ndung’u had sued the institution in 2018 demanding legal fees following his unmerited firing.
However, according to USIU-A, the lawyer was not entitled to the legal fees as he did not disclose his past dealings with the land before he took up the case involving the institution.
In his orders, Justice Okong’o allowed the lawyer and his firm to hold onto USIU case file as security until he is given his Ksh152 million legal fees.
Ndungu Njoroge & Kwach Advocates has been representing USIU-A since 2017 when the university sued to stop Maestro Connections Health Systems Ltd, owned by Kiongera, from occupying and developing the land.
In their submissions, USIU-A stated that DPS International sold the 20.3-acre parcel to insurance firm ICEA, which then sold it to the university.
Mwangi and Kiongera both claim to have bought the land directly from Moi, who insists that he has never sold the land.
The retired president’s lawyers further accused Andrew Sunkuli, a brother of his former aide Julius Sunkuli and lawyer Samson Omwanza Ombati of illegally selling the land.
The land battle itself has proven to be one of the most complex in recent times, as each of the three parties laying claim to it have filed documents to prove that they legally paid for the prime property.