The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) has issued a statement following videos of detectives arresting an elderly man over what is purported to be a disputed piece of land in Nairobi’s Lavington district.
One video shared by Kileleshwa MCA Robert Alai on Saturday shows police handcuffing the man and escorting him to the car, saying they are taking him to the DCI headquarters along Kiambu Road. When questioned by his family, the detectives say they do not need a warrant to arrest him.
In another clip shared by activist Boniface Mwangi, the man’s daughter says moments after her father’s arrest, unknown people invaded the family land and began erecting a fence on the land she has lived on for 27 years.
The incident sparked uproar from a section of Kenyans online who accused the investigative agency of not following due process.
And in a statement Sunday, DCI termed the video an incomplete picture of a big story. The agency said the arrest was made following a complaint made by one Munir Ahmed Chaundri, a 75-year-old Kenyan citizen currently living in the United Kingdom.
DCI said Chaundri accused the current occupants, Mahesh Kumar Bhatti and Anita Bhatti, of illegally claiming ownership of the parcel.
According to detectives, Chaundri claimed to have purchased the parcel in 1977 before it was later rented to a construction company linked to the accused in 1984.
“In 1987 they sold part of the land to the said TM-AM company. 3. The land was subdivided in two portions thus, LR. No. 209/7771/1 which was sold to Mahesh and Anita Bhatti and LR. No. 209/7771/2 which was retained by the complainant,” read the statement.
“In August 2006, the late Malkiat Singh Assi visited Kenya and discussed with Mahesh about the sale of their portion of land to TM-AM (Mahesh) who rejected the offer. However, they agreed that TM-AM would build a perimeter wall covering both plots with a permanent gate for security purposes.”
DCI said Chaundri reported the matter in February this year, accusing the couple of denying him entry to the property, unlike previous occasions where access was granted.
The suspect in the matter, detectives added, has not provided ownership documents relating to the disputed land.
“The Director of Public Prosecution after considering the above facts, directed the prosecution of Mahesh Kumar Bhatti and Anita Bhatti for the offence of forceful detainer contrary to section 91 as read with section 36 of the Penal Code. The suspects were ordered to appear before the court to answer to the above charges,” said the investigative agency.
“Despite the unsubstantiated stories that went viral on social media, the truth is in the facts and evidence that will be presented before court in the coming days.”