Harambee Stars captain Michael Olunga has had a successful career as a professional footballer, but he recently found himself in a legal battle over a real estate investment that nearly cost him Sh 67 million.
Olunga, who currently plays for Al-Duhail Football Club in Qatar, invested in a commercial plot in Nairobi with his girlfriend Grace Edith Akinyi through a real estate company called Captain Real Estate.
The couple paid the full purchase price of Sh 67,292,500 in September 2022, but the company refused to transfer the property to them. Instead, they allegedly sold the land to a third party and made false promises to Olunga and Akinyi.
Concerned about the deceitful actions of the real estate firm, Olunga enlisted the help of a lawyer and filed a lawsuit against the company.
Speaking in an interview with the Nairobian, Olunga swore that despite repeatedly demanding that the company either reimburse them or transfer the property after payments, they were consistently subjected to promises and counter-promises without any concrete action taken. He further stated that instead of honoring their end of the bargain and returning their money, the company called for a meeting with their lawyer on October 30, 2022, where they disclosed their intention to sell the property to a third party.
Olunga expressed surprise at seeing the same parcel of land advertised to potential buyers in November 2022, even though they had paid the full purchase price and had the sale contract signed.
“Our advocate then wrote to the company asking for a refund but they did nothing. They were notoriously enjoying possession of our money and using the property at our expense,” he said.
Olunga noted that after being frustrated for a prolonged period and facing refusal by the company to transfer the property or refund the money, they eventually decided to go to court in February to safeguard the land to avoid losing everything.
“The company refused to honour its end of the bargain to affect the transfer of the property to Grace Akinyi and myself. They have been consistently treating us to false promises, only to realise that they had advertised the property on social media sites and sold it to a third party,” said Olunga.
According to Elvis Majani, the lawyer representing Michael Olunga and his wife, Captain Real Estate Company breached the contract they entered into and should be stopped from selling the land to third parties or compelled to refund the Ksh 67 million, plus interest accrued for the period they held onto it.
“The company breached the contract by failing to complete the transfer of the property after accepting considerable money from Olunga with the knowledge that they were not intending to transfer the said property after being paid,” said Majani
Majani also accused the company of offering the property for sale to third parties while still holding onto the money paid by Olunga and his wife. Fortunately, the parties reached an agreement to settle the dispute out of court, which was adopted as an order by Justice Alfred Mabeya.