ORDERS TO FREEZE IMPERIAL BANK ASSETS TO WAIT, COURT SAYS.

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Imperial Bank Limited depositor’s stage demo outside imperial bank headquarters in Nairobi.

BY SAM ALFAN.

A judge declined for a second time to grant orders freezing the assets of the embattled Imperial bank directors saying they will have to be heard first before a determination are made on whether to grant the orders.

High Court Judge Francis Tuiyot said that the nature of issues raised by all the parties in the case require that they be heard before the court can exercise its mind on the request seeking freeze orders.

“This court has weighed heavily on the matter. It’s clear that a decision on whether interim should be given till I hear merits of application from all sides” said judge.

Imperial Bank Ltd (IBL) which is under receivership, Kenya Deposit Insurance Corporation (KDIC) and Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) had early this month lodged a fresh suit against the bank’s former directors alleging they orchestrated fraud which led to massive loses.

IBL, KDIC and CBK through lawyer Phillip Murgor want the directors compelled to refund Sh45 billion and to be audited, tracked, and all the shares and assets they own in connection with the bank after September 15, 2015 frozen.

“We submit that the orders freezing the assets should be granted so as to preserve them. There is a high likelihood that they may be moved out of the jurisdiction of this court if orders are not granted thereby defeating our case,” lawyer Murgor said.

The directors through their lawyers however opposed the request for grant of interim orders saying they want to be heard before orders are granted.

Mr Justice Tuiyot also said that the estate of the late Abdulmalek Janmohamed, former IBL’s managing director, will have to participate in the case to the very end despite their application that they be removed on grounds that they are an unnecessary party in the case.

“We are already defending another suit filed by IBL under receivership and we therefore don’t need to be in this case,” lawyer Ahmednasir Abdullahi had argued.

The judge however directed all the lawyers to agree on the way forward regarding a claim raised by lawyer Murgor that some of the lawyers who are representing the directors and shareholders, have engaged in conflict of interest given that some are also listed as IBL legal advisors.

Lawyer Murgor wants them to stop participating in the cases.

The parties were directed to file their court papers.

The case will be heard on October 26.

 

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