The family of the late politician and businessman Lawrence Nginyo Kariuki are locked in a fight over the management and distribution of his estate valued at nearly Sh4 billion, marking the latest high-profile succession dispute in Kenya.
Mr Kariuki died on February 24, 2020, leaving a vast estate, including real estate, farming, bank deposits and government bonds, and a will that is being contested in court by one of his children.
He is survived by his wife Margaret Wangari Nginyo and her six children – Jane Wambui Kiragu, James Anthony Kariuki, Rose Wanjiru Kariuki, Sarah Mukuhi Kariuki, Scholastica Njeri Kariuki and Silas Macharia Kariuki.
Mr Kariuki also had three other children out of wedlock – Brenda Nyambura Kiragu, Alex Ndoria Karuri and Austin Wachira Karungo.
Brenda, a lawyer who says she enjoyed a close relationship with her father and represented him in several legal matters, told the Nairobi High Court’s Family Division that her stepmother and her children are already appropriating the deceased’s estate illegally.
She also wants the court to nullify her father’s will of June 13, 2014 which excluded her and the two other children born out of wedlock, saying the document is either a forgery or the author did not have free will at the time of its creation.
Mr Kariuki’s wealth declared in the will has also been contested, prompting a petition to seek an investigator to unearth hidden assets, especially millions of shillings in undisclosed banks accounts.
“It is therefore impossible that the deceased would then make a will where he forgets or fails to remember that I am his biological daughter,” said Brenda.
“Further that the deceased would also forget to acknowledge other two children, but only remembers Margaret Wangari and her children.”
Brenda has also sued lenders — Consolidated Bank, I&M Bank #ticker:I&M and Cooperative Bank #ticker:COOP — over hundreds of millions of shillings in accounts and for offering Margaret’s children access to the finances without letters of administration.
The letters of administration were to be issued after placements of the names of the executors of the will in a Kenya Gazette notice and the expiry of a 30-day period for no objections.The notice was placed on the Kenya Gazette on August 21.Brenda has objected, putting the court’s approval to the executors of the will on ice.“That on March 10, 2020 the respondents applied for and transferred Sh1.1 million from the deceased’s account number 10011200000914 domiciled at Consolidated Bank of Kenya purporting […]