Coming up for hearing: on 15th September 2021.

Reference filed: 12th October 2020.

Articles: 3(3) (b), 6(d), 7(2), 8(4), 27(1) and 30(1) & (2) of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community (EAC).

Rules: 1(2), 8 & 24 of the East African Court of Justice Rules of Procedure, 2019.

Subject matter: Land dispute.

The Applicant is a company incorporated under the laws of Burundi and the Respondent is the Attorney General of the Republic of Burundi sued as the legal advisor of the respective Government.

Applicant alleges to have entered a contract of sale of land at a fully paid-up price through its Director Salim Allibhai on 15th January 2004 with Antoine Ntisigana who was represented by Attorney Maitre Augustin Mabushi. A certificate of title for the land was made by Director of Title Deeds and transferred to the name of ISAT Surl.

That, later the contract was disputed by Antoine Ntisigana who denied power of his Attorney Maitre Augustin Mabushi to concluded the contract on his behalf and alleged the contract was null and void. A case was filed against the Director of Title and Maitre Augustin Mabushi for cancellation of both the contract of sale and registration of ISAT Surl as registered proprietor of the property. ISAT Surl was joined in the case as an interested party and the matter proceeded from Administrative Court to the Supreme Court where both the contract of sale and the transfer of title to ISAT Surl was annulled. A reference made to the Minister of Justice challenging the decisions was unsuccessful.

The Applicant therefore filed this Reference alleging inter alia that, actions and omissions of The Director of Titles while registering the transfer of lease in the suit property had led to loss of his income and property hence, an infringement of provisions of the EAC Treaty and decision of the Attorney General not to represent the Director of Titles in the Supreme Court was detrimental to his case which is also a violation of provisions of the Treaty.

Applicant prays for among other orders, to be reinstated as a registered proprietor of the land, compensation for loss of income and property as well as costs.

The Respondent denies any averments related to the unlawfulness of the decision rendered against the Applicant. Further states that, the actions and omissions of the director of titles was not detrimental to the Applicant as it arose in normal legal undertakings of discharging their duties. He opposes the Reference for being time barred, Court lacking jurisdiction to entertain the matter and pray for dismissal with costs.

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