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Woman Charged with Forging Ex-husband’s Signature, Selling Matrimonial Home

A man in Mombasa has moved to court over the fraudulent sale of his matrimonial home. Joel Kibunja is sueing his ex-wife Margaret Wothaya for forging his signature to facilitate the sale of the Sh10 million home to her friend Sarah Wanjiru Njiri.

The house, which is located at Miritini in Mombasa was sold to Njiri in 2010. Kibunja said he was taken aback after he received a letter from Njiri asking him to start paying rent for the house.

“I examined the signatures contained in the transfer lease and the sublease used in selling the property and established it was forged,” forensic signature examiner John Muinde told the magistrate.

The case dates back to 2011 when Kibunja filed a civil suit against his ex-wife, Njiri and a Land registrar in Mombasa. He was seeking to stop the sale and transfer of the matrimonial home claiming his signature on the sale agreement had been forged. The passport photo also attached to the agreement was allegedly scanned from a family portrait.

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Kibunja said they were enstranged at the time the sale agreement was drawn.

He said he acquired the property together with his ex-wife back in September 2005. He denied ever receiving a Sh10 million loan from Njiri, saying he took loans from a sacco and sought financial assistance from his parents to develop the property.  He said the wife chipped in with Sh350,000.

According to the former Kenya Revenue Authority employee, the property was worth Sh15 million in 2010.

Kirweya however disputes the claims, saying she is involved in clearing and forwarding, and had single-handedly obtained the property.

Kirweya, Njiri and Lands registrar Samuel Gikunju have been charged with four counts of forgery and altering documents.

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In her June 2020 judgement, High court judge Ann Omollo established that Kirweya had colluded with Njiri to forge Kibunja’s signature and passport photos to sell the property.

High Court judge Ann Omollo, in her judgement on June 4, 2020, established that the accused had colluded to forge Kibunja’s signature and passport photos to sell off his property.

She said that Kirweya’s and Njiri’s defense had some inconsistencies, and they had out rightly excluded Kibunja in the sale of the property.

“I find Njiri acquired her title through fraud by forging the signature of Kibunja, who was co-owner and whose consent was necessary before the property could be disposed of,” ruled Justice Omollo.

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Written by Vanessa Murrey

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