Chairman of Dubai Bank in Kenya Abdul Hafedh Zubedi, Wilson Hassan Nandwa and Ali Bashir Sheikh at Milimani law court on Thursday December 21, 2015.
BY SAM ALFAN.
Three directors of Dubai Bank have moved to the High Court seeking review of Sh 10 Million cash bail granted by a magistrate’s court.
On Thursday Abdul Hafedh Zubeidi, Ali Bashir Sheikh and Wilson Hassan Nandwa were still in custody after they were unable to raise the cash bail.
Through lawyer Charles Kiplangat the trio filed an application in which they said the bond terms were irregular, excessive and unreasonable in the circumstance.
Milimani Chief Magistrate Daniel Ogembo directed Zubeidi, Sheikh and Nandwa to deposit Sh10 million cash bail each after their lawyer raised an objection over the charges leveled against them, saying they were defective.
While the defence sought a deferral of the plea, the prosecution asked for more time to file their response over the issues raised
“The accused persons are presently at the cells and are likely to be remanded in prison unless this application is heard and orders granted forthwith,” Kiplangat told Justice Ngenye Macharia who certified the matter urgent.
Kiplangat told the court that the bail terms do not commensurate with the gravity and penalty of the purported offences with which the accused are to be charged with.
In the case, the chief executive officer and an operations manager are separately charged with the theft of Sh12 million from their employer.
Butaa Binay and Deeraj Kumar Baghel are accused of stealing Sh12, 639,006 between April 28, 2014 and September 14, 2014 at Dubai Bank, Moi Avenue, Nairobi.
Zubeidi who is the Dubai Bank founder Hassan Zubeidi has failed to stop his prosecution alongside four other past and present directors at the troubled lender over a money laundering scheme.
On November 26 Mr Zubeidi filed a petition at the High Court in which he denies any role in the alleged money laundering scheme, arguing that as chairman, he had no role in the day- to- day running of Dubai Bank.
The Chief Magistrate’s Court issued warrants of arrest for Zubeidi and four other directors at the bank for allegedly running a money laundering scheme at the institution.
Mr Butaa and Baghel are accused of stealing Sh12,639,006 between April 28, 2014 and September 14, 2014 at Dubai Bank, Kenyatta Avenue, Nairobi.
Mr Zubeidi, Mr Sheikh and Mr Nandwa are accused of failing to carry out due diligence of a customer before opening a bank account in the name of Runway Entertainment Private Limited, a company the prosecution says does not exist.
“The chairman of the board of directors has no role in opening accounts. In particular, the said account was not opened with the petitioner’s knowledge.
Mr Zubeidi had no notice of any investigation or court summons in respect of the charges and the decision to prosecute him is unlawful,” he says.
The warrants were issued after Dubai Bank’s directors failed to appear in court to plead to the three charges against them.
The Dubai Bank directors were expected to appear before the Chief Magistrate’s Court on December 2 to take plea after their lawyers argued that they had not received summons and that some of them were out of the country.
Mr Butta fled the country in May in the middle of a Central Bank of Kenya investigation into his role in a suspect share sale guarantee scheme.
The Friday warrant is the second against Zubeidi in two weeks after the High Court deputy registrar issued another call for his arrest in a civil case.
The deputy registrar had just a week earlier called for Zubeidi’s arrest for failing to heed a court directive to pay Sh7 million debt he owed Jazira Agencies, a Nairobi firm.
Dubai Bank was placed under statutory management in August after a Central Bank of Kenya audit report implicated it in massive breaches of industry regulations.