Eliud Kipchoge embroiled in multi-million property dispute alongside other elite athletes


Eliud Kipchoge embroiled in multi-million property dispute alongside other elite athletes

Festus Chuma 18:16 - 15.05.2024

The former world marathon record holder is entangled in a legal dispute over the alleged illegal sale of a matrimonial property in Kenya.

Marathon legend Eliud Kipchoge finds himself at the center of a legal tangle over a substantial matrimonial property reportedly valued at Sh100 million. 

The property dispute also involves former world record holder Daniel Komen and his wife Joyce Komen alongside other prominent figures in the athletic community.

According to Daily Nation, Mrs Komen, a senior lecturer and head of the Department of Management Science at Moi University in Eldoret has taken legal action against her husband. 

She has also named elite runners—including Kipchoge, the double Olympic champion, and Brimin Kipruto, winner of the 3000 metre steeplechase at the 2008 Beijing Olympics—as defendants alongside cereal farmers-cum-businessmen Felex Kipchoge Lagat, and Peter Kipsigei Lagat.

The crux of the lawsuit centers around a sprawling 200-acre piece of prime agricultural land in Uasin Gishu County, which Joyce claims was sold without her consent and well below its market value. 

“I have also learned with shock that the property was sold at just Sh10 million, which represents just 10 percent of the actual value of the land,” Joyce Komen stated in her affidavit as quoted by Nation.

She argues that despite the property being registered in her husband's name it was acquired and developed through their joint efforts—a fact that Daniel Komen himself acknowledged in court documents. 

However, the defendants, led by Kipchoge, presented a different narrative. They claim to have conducted due diligence and were assured by Daniel Komen that the property was his to sell. 

“We informed him that we were interested in purchasing the property and then Komen entered into a sale agreement with us on October 4, 2011, where we bought the property at a sum of Sh10 million,” Kipchoge detailed in his replying affidavit.

The case, now before Justice Reuben Nyakundi, highlights Joyce Komen's plea involving five constitutional queries, pressing the court to determine her rights as a wife in property dealings—a matter that could set a significant legal precedent.

The defendants argue that the matter should be settled out of court, a sentiment echoed by Daniel Komen who pointed out the familial ties at stake. 

Meanwhile, Joyce contends that the transaction was riddled with fraud and deceit, emphasizing that no consent was obtained from the Lands Control Board and that she was not involved in any board meetings as required by law.

“I talked to the area chief, Mr. Tarus, who ought to have given his consent in normal circumstances, but he has informed me that he never wrote any letter to the board,” she disclosed.

With the next hearing scheduled for May 20 all eyes will be on the Eldoret High Court as it navigates this high-profile case amid the intersecting interests of renowned athletes and the academic elite.

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