Amongi

Amongi Betty loses city land she fraudulently bought, to be evicted

(Last Updated On: 23 January 2024)

Lira I Betty Amongi has been ordered to vacate a prime land in Lira City after a civil suit No. 0008 of 2008 in which Akullu Lilian and Linda Otim Olet sued her alongside Fred Okaka.

The land she’s ordered to vacate measures approximately 0.352 hectares. It is on Plot No. 38, Erute Road; Lira municipality in Lira district (as in the court document).

The plaintiff’s facts of the suit are that the plaintiff applied for a lease from the Land Administration Department in Lira in or about 1993 and was granted the same on the 8th day of December 1993. The plaintiff’s lease was subsequently extended for a further 5-year term on or about the 3rd day of November 2006.

Also, the same lease, according to the court document was further extended for 49 years and the applicant obtained a certificate of title of the suit land on the 11th day of July, 2007.

In a judgment read by His Worship Godfrey Ssalaamu Ngobi on behalf of His Lordship Justice Alex Mackay Ajiji on January 22, 2024, the court found that the 1st defendant (Amongi) trespassed on the suit land and constructed a house thereon despite several requests and demands that she vacates the suit land.

“The defendant in her written statement of defence denied the plaintiff’s claims and averred she purchased the suit land from Okaka Fred without the knowledge of any other person’s interests therein and is therefore a bona fide purchaser for value.”

In her counterclaim, the 1st defendant filed for a declaratory order that she is the rightful owner of the suit land, orders for a permanent injunction restraining the Plaintiff, her agents or persons claiming title under her from evicting, trespassing or interfering in any way with the defendant’s quiet possession, use and enjoyment of the suit land, cancellation of the certificate of title fraudulently obtained by the Plaintiff, interest and cost of the suit.

She averred that she is the rightful owner of the land comprised in leasehold register Volume 3758, Folio 11, Plot No. 38, Erute Road, Central Division, Lira Municipality having bought it from Mr Okaka Fred (2nd defendant) on or about the 22nd of December, 2005 at a cost of shs6, 500,000 without any knowledge of any other person’s interest in the same and was organizing to process a title in her name.

Okaka in his counterclaim denied all the plaintiff’s allegations and averred that the suit land forms part of the estate of his late mother and also a mother of the plaintiff, one Bensy Olong and he’s the caretaker and or intended administrator of the said estate.

He argued that the said sale was concluded with the consent of almost all the beneficiaries of the said estate, as the proceeds of the said sale were to take care of the welfare of the beneficiaries of the said estate.

Okaka further averred that the plaintiff fraudulently and for her own selfish gain procured a lease offer and eventually a certificate in her own name, to the detriment of the beneficiaries. He claimed that at the time of selling the plaintiff was not the lawful owner of the suit and the suit land was under his care or custody for and on behalf of the beneficiaries of the said estate.

Evidence

Linda Otim, 32, told the court, “I know the plaintiff she is a daughter of my sister and the 2nd defendant is a brother to the plaintiff. I approached the 2nd defendant and told him not to sell the land of the plaintiff….but the 2nd defendant went ahead and sold the land. We had a meeting and the plaintiff insisted she wanted to recover her land….”

Philip Adonga, 32, and senior land officer, Lira district local government gave a witness before the court. He said, “The details in the file at the land office in Lira show that on 31/03/1993 Akullu Lillian through her agent Bensy Olong, applied for a piece of land on Erute Road, Lira Municipality for residential purposes on a standard land form No. 1. Lira municipality then the controlling authority approved the application premium at 150,000 per annual rent. The 150,000 offer for two years, extended to 49 years, lease dated 12/08/1993….”

Defence as captured in the judgment

Betty Amongi told the court that, “I have seen Akullo at a meeting held by Hon. Sam Engola her elder brother to mediate her elder brother or to mediate the matter. It was around 2010. I know Okaka Fred, I knew him when I was transacting on a land matter with him….I have my house there since 2005. At the time I was an MP woman MP of Apac district and one of the chancellors then Hon Betty Nam, now LC.V told me she found land in Lira Municipality. I went with her together with the surveyor and Mr Okeke showed me the plot….”

Analysis of the court

Issue No. 1 the court looked at was whether the suit property originally formed part of the estate of the late Bensy Olong, mother of the plaintiff and 2nd defendant. And this is what the court found, “I have carefully looked at the evidence of both parties and the annexures attached to the plaints and the written statements of the defence and note that although the defendants state that the land in dispute belonged to the estate of the plaintiff’s and the 2nd defendant’s late mother Densy Olong who allegedly died in 1996, the plaintiff on the other hand, state that the land belongs to her. This was proved by prosecution witness two (PW2, Philip Adonga), a senior land officer from Lira land office who told the court that the record indicates that the plaintiff through her agent Densy Olong applied for the leasehold certificate in 1993 and she was granted a lease of two years which extended to 5 years in 2006 and later to 49 years in 2007.

“From the evidence of defence witness one and defence witness two plus the 2nd defendant’s written statement of defence, the 2nd defendant was only left on the suit land by the late mother which is understandable because the plaintiff lived out of the country…”

Counterclaim by 1st defendant

“Having found that the plaintiff is the lawful owner of the suit land, the counterclaim stands to be dismissed with costs to the plaintiff,” Justice Ajiji ruled.

Further, the court ruled that “an eviction order is issued against the 1st defendant, her agents and servants from the suit land, a permanent injunction is issued restraining the defendants and or their agents from the suit land; the plaintiff is awarded UGX10,000,000 as general damages at 12% from the date of this judgment”.

Lastly, each party shall bear its own costs, the court ruled.

As all already know, Betty Amongi has shown interest in standing for Lira City Woman MP seat in 2026.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *