BY SAM ALFAN.
A Nigerian businessman arrested with Sh100 million at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport wants back his seized money.
The Nigerian, who was on transit to Dubai when he was nabbed at JKIA said he had declared the money back in Lagos and was cleared by customs officials.
“On the question of non-declaration of funds at customs. I wish to state I was a passenger on transit to Dubai from Lagos Nigeria.
“At Murtala Mohammed International Airport, I declared the currency and I was cleared by the customs to travel. I checked in the consignment and as is the usual norm in international travels, my next declaration point ordinary would have been Dubai International Airport,” Mauzu Bala said.
In reply to an application by a state agency, Muazu Bala has accused Assets Recovery Agency for failing to make full disclosure to the court when the order was issued.
In his court documents, Bala claims that the information given by ARA was not accurate and was intentionally meant to mislead the court.
“I pray that the orders granted be set aside and the court replaces the same with an order directing the money in question be released, ” Bala said.
He claims that the Agency filed two applications before the High Court without informing the Magistrate court sitting at JKIA that they had filed application seeking to seize and preserve his money and a ruling was pending.
In a sworn affidavit, Bala says he was on transit to Dubai and had been cleared by Nigeria customs at Murtala Mohammed International Airport.
He claims during the layover at JKIA officials, not from customs department, who claimed to be police came calling.
He added that he was surprised Kenya Airways which cleared him at Lagos travel aboard their aircraft with “undeclared currency” pounced on him in Nairobi with the intention to deprive him of his money.
He further said during his detention and interrogation, they could not communicate properly due to the language barrier. The officials, he said, confiscated all his documents.
He adds that it is disturbing and surprising how someone knew he had checked in with money yet he had not disclosed the information to anyone apart from Nigerian custom officials.
The Nigerian said it is unethical that some people went through the luggage of all passengers during the layover, contrary to regulation and international practice.