1.Vide an application dated 12th August, 2022 the applicant moved this Court under Sections 3A & 3B of Appellate Jurisdiction Act and Rule 5(2) (b), of the Court of Appeal Rules, 2010 seeking orders of temporary stay of execution of the judgment and decree issued on 28th July, 2022 in Nairobi Environment and Land Court Case No. 705 of 2016, Nairobi pending the lodging, hearing and determination of her intended appeal to this Court.
2.In the judgment subject of the intended appeal, the 1st respondent sued the applicant contending that she was duly allocated plot no.B 55 Umoja lnnercore Sector Ill by the 2nd respondent’s predecessor the City Council of Nairobi, vide its letter dated 26th November 2008 at a market sale price of Kshs.60,000, which amount she duly paid. The respondent took possession immediately and paid all the requisite payments thereby acquiring proprietary rights to the suit property. However, in blatant breach of her proprietary rights, the applicant without any color of right, unlawfully encroached and trespassed on the said property, demolished temporary structures therein and commenced construction of semi- permanent structures without the 1st respondent’s consent or knowledge.
3.In response to the suit, the applicant filed a defence dated 29th May, 2017 which was subsequently amended on 25th June, 2018. She stated that she had an impeachable right to the suit premises, and therefore the structures she might have demolished in the suit premises had been illegally thereon. The applicant also filed a notice of indemnity and cross claim against the 2nd respondent dated 4th December, 2019 respectively. The 2nd respondent, on the other hand, filed its statement of defence dated 26th January, 2021 wherein it recognized the 1st respondent as the owner of the suit property as her name appeared in its records. It also sought dismissal of the suit with costs.
4.The matter proceeded for hearing and both parties filed their respective submissions in the High Court at the Environment and Land Court, Nairobi. On 28th July, 2022, the said court (Mbugua, J.) delivered its judgment on the dispute wherein allowing the 1st respondent’s suit and determined that the lease and certificate of lease for L.R. No.Nairobi/Block 83/1584 (formerly 855 Umoja Innercore section 111(“the suit property”) were obtained illegally and un-procedurally through fraud and, therefore, the applicant had no legitimate proprietary rights over the suit property. A permanent injunction was also issued restraining the applicant from interfering in any way with the suit property. The applicant was also ordered to give vacant possession of the suit property within a period of 45 days, failure to which eviction was to issue.
5.The applicant, being aggrieved by that judgment, filed a notice of appeal on 5th August, 2022 and also applied for copies of proceedings and judgment vide a letter dated 4th August, 2022. The applicant is now before us with a motion under Rule 5(2)(b) of the Court of Appeal Rules.
6.Opposing the motion, the 1st respondent’s advocate filed a replying affidavit sworn on 19th August, 2022 deposing that the applicant has no arguable appeal since there was glaring evidence of fraud by the applicant and, therefore, the law cannot offer any protection to an illegally acquired property. He further deponed that the applicant’s appeal would not be rendered nugatory since the 1st respondent is not interested in alienating the suit property. Be that as it may, any loss that may be suffered by the applicant if at all the appeal succeeds, can be compensated by the 1st respondent, who is capable of paying.
7.The 2nd respondent opposed the motion vide a replying affidavit sworn by its County Surveyor one Geoffrey Cheruiyot, who deponed that, since the suit property is immovable, in the event of a successful appeal, the applicant can take possession any time. Therefore, the applicant has not demonstrated how her appeal would be rendered nugatory in the event that the stay orders are not granted.
8.On whether the appeal is arguable, the applicant’s counsel submitted that the applicant has raised 21 grounds of appeal against the impugned judgment and, in a nutshell, it is arguable whether the applicant successfully proved before the trial court that she was a bona fide purchaser for value without notice. Counsel also contended that in the impugned judgment, the trial court ordered revocation of the applicant's title and issued an order of eviction of the applicant from the suit property within 45 days from delivery of the judgment. Therefore, unless stay of execution is granted, the applicant shall be evicted from the said property within 45 days rendering the appeal nugatory.
9.The 1st respondent’s counsel reiterated the contents of the replying affidavit filed in response to the motion and submitted that the applicant did not have an arguable appeal bearing in mind the illegalities involved, and no good title could be passed to her. On the nugatory aspect, counsel cited Suleiman Rahimtullah Omar & Another v Musa Hersi Fahiye & 5 Others (2011) eKLR, which held that the suit property was located in the country and, indeed, would be available to whoever is ultimately entitled to the same.
10.On his part, the 2nd respondent’s counsel submitted that the application is couched in generalities, and has not addressed how the intended appeal is likely to be rendered nugatory in the event that stay is declined.
11.This being an application for stay of execution, the applicant has to satisfy the twin requirements of Rule 5(2) (b) of the Court of Appeal Rules. As restated in Stanley Kangethe Kinyanjui v Tony Ketter & 5 Others  eKLR, the requirements are that the applicant has an arguable appeal, and that the intended appeal, if successful, would be rendered nugatory if the order of stay sought is not granted.
12.On the first principle as to whether or not the appeal is arguable, we have to consider whether there is at least a single bona fide arguable ground that has been raised by the applicant in order to warrant ventilation before this Court. In this regard, we make reference to Stanley Kang’ethe Kinyanjui v Tony Ketter & 5 Others  eKLR where this Court described an arguable appeal in the following terms:
13.We have carefully considered the grounds set out in the motion and the memorandum of appeal. In our considered view, the appeal is arguable, inter alia, on the ground as to whether the applicant successfully proved before the trial court that she was a bona fide purchaser for value without notice. An arguable point is not necessarily one that must succeed, but merely one that is deserving of consideration by this Court. Without saying more lest we embarrass the bench that will be seized of the main appeal, we are satisfied that the intended appeal is arguable.
14.On the nugatory aspect, as this Court held in Reliance Bank Ltd v Norlake Investments Ltd  I EA 227, the factors which could render an appeal nugatory are to be considered within the circumstances of each particular case and that, in doing so, the court is bound to consider the conflicting claims of both sides. In the circumstances of that particular case, the court stated as follows:
15.In the instant case, the applicant deponed in her supporting affidavit that, unless this application is determined immediately and interim orders of stay of execution granted, her certificate of lease for L. R. Nairobi/Block 83/1584 shall be revoked and she shall be evicted from the said property within 45 days as ordered by the trial court. We are guided by the case of Mukuma v Abuoga  KLR 645 in which this Court held, inter alia:
16.We are satisfied that no substantial loss will be suffered by applicant. The applicant has not persuaded us that the appeal shall be rendered nugatory if we decline to grant the orders sought. We also find that in there appears to be no threat of alienation of the property and even if this were to happen in the event of a successful appeal, an award of damages would be an adequate remedy. Indeed, the applicant has not even remotely suggested that the respondents are incapable of paying whatever damages are found to be due to her.
17.The foregoing being the case, the order that commends itself is that this application must fail and is therefore dismissed. The costs of the application shall abide the outcome of the appeal.Orders accordingly.
DATED AND DELIVERED AT NAIROBI THIS 3RD DAY OF FEBRUARY, 2023.DR. K. I. LAIBUTA…………………………….JUDGE OF APPEALALI-ARONI…………………………JUDGE OF APPEALJ. MATIVO……………………………JUDGE OF APPEALI certify that this is a true copy of the originalSignedDEPUTY REGISTRAR