Former Central Bank Governor Nashon Nyaga with his lawyer Nelson Havi leaving Milimani law court on December 3, 2015.
BY SAM ALFAN.
The court of appeal has upheld the decision of the superior court to allow the withdraw of civil suits filed by law firm of Havi and company advocates on behalf of two investment company, Tatu City and Kofinaf limited.
Appellate judges Erastus Githinji, Marha Koome and G.B. M Kariuki found and held that law firm of Havi and company advocates had no authority to file civil suits against seven directors of investment companies.
The judges disallowed the application by Nelson Havi purportedly filed by Tatu City, Kofinaf limited, former Central Bank Governor Nashon Nyaga and Vimal Shah against majority shareholders of Tatu City Investment Company.
The appellate judges said that having shown that by the resolution of board of directors dated September 16 kick out law firm Havi and company advocates and appointed Ahmednasir Abdullahi to represent the two companies.
They said that civil suits which were withdrawn by the high court order and endorsed by the deputy registrar, were filed in contravention of the resolution of Tatu City and Kofinaf board directors.
Havi he said to have filed suits against the seven directors after the resolution of Tatu Cityand Kofinaf confirming that he was not authorized to act on their behalf.
The two major holding companies of the controversial Sh240billion Tatu City project bowed out of the four-year legal wrangling between the warring foreign and local partners.
Commercial Division gave greenlight to the parent company, Tatu City Ltd and its main local subsidiary Kofinaf Ltd, to withdraw from the dispute pitting the foreign majority shareholders against their local minority partners.
The court’s deputy registrar approved an application by Senior Counsel Ahmednassir Abdullahi seeking the withdrawal of the two firms from the civil suits involving ownership of huge land holdings in Kiambu County that form the backbone of the ambitious project.
On September 16, all the directors of the two companies participated in a board meeting at the project site’s Tatu House to discuss circumstances that have created bad blood among them, resulting in the filing of a plethora of cases that have over-shadowed the development of the huge tracts of land.
The foreign shareholders accused their local partners, led by former Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) Governor Nahashon Nyaga and industrialist Vimal Shah of attempting to alienate and transfer more than 2,000 acres of land belonging to the companies.
But the two investors claim they have been side-stepped in the management and financing of the mega-project and have demanded a forensic audit of accounts.
The hearing of the dispute remains suspended after Commercial Court Judge Eric Ogolla declined to disqualify himself amid unsubstantiated claims of bribery and impropriety.
In a related development, international audit firm, Pricewaterhousecoopers, recently declined an assignment to scrutinize loan facilities advanced to the companies for the purchase of land following the fall-out between the parties.
The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (CID) has been investigating Nyagah over allegations that he used close relatives and cronies to irregularly transfer shares worth Sh 5.3billion in a grand conspiracy to defraud the parent company. The sleuths have recommended the prosecution of Nyagah and five other people.
Nyagah has been granted temporary conservatory orders stopping his arrest pending the outcome of his petition challenging the validity of the investigations.
Similarly, two lawyers, Nelson Havi and Michael Osundwa, have secured court orders stopping their prosecution involving changes in the in the shareholding and directorship of one of the firm’s subsidiaries, Purple Saturn Properties, that is connected with Nyagah.
In their petition, Havi and Osundwa said they were instructed by Purple Saturn, between February 24 and March 3, to change its ownership and management and duly informed the Registrar of Companies about the restructuring of the firm.
The proposed charge against the two lawyers alleges they conspired to defraud Kofinaf Company Ltd of its Sh5billion shares through Purple Saturn Properties Ltd.The offence was allegedly committed between June 13 and August 3.