Investor wants court to cancel bail terms against Meridian MD, two others in Ksh176M theft case

Wednesday, October 6th, 2021 12:06 | By
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An investor has filed an application before a Milimani chief magistrate court seeking to cancel bail terms of a managing director of a micro-finance company and two others charged with stealing Sh176 million. 

In an affidavit filed by lawyer Danstan Omari, Eduardo Ciriza claims that Meridian Acceptance Limited was broken into by the suspects who were captured by CCTV cameras. 

He wants the court to stop the accused persons James Muchungu,  Ian Ndwiga and  Lisa Mumbi from interfering with the activities of Meridian Acceptance Limited pending the hearing and determination of the case.

In the application, Omari states that complainant Ciriza made a complaint at Central police station that certain people went to his office and stole computer and other accessories of unknown amount. 

The lawyer argues that one of the respondents before court was witnessed carrying the accessories from the complainant's office.

He added that previously the court had directed that the accused peesons should not interfere with witnesses and evidence. 

"The accused persons having entered the complainant's office we find it as a breach of the orders of the court," Omari said.

He added that the suspects have been making follow up so that the accused persons can cease sabotaging the operions of Meridian Acceptance Limited  but to no avail notwithstanding the company board of management resolution. 

"Unless orders sought are granted, Meridian Acceptance Limited will continue to suffer in terms of operations difficulties occasioned by the unprocedural interferences by the accused persons," the court was told. 

The complainants are directors of the same company, their roles and duties have not been taken away.

There was no recovery of the items.

In August,  the three denied charges of conspiracy to steal from Meridian Acceptance Limited between January 1, 2017, and December 31 last year.

Muchungu is charged with stealing Sh23, 018,621 between January 1, 2017, and December 31, last year, while Ndwiga has been accused of stealing Sh20, 836,817.

Mumbi is separately accused of stealing Sh10,636,569.

Complainant Eduardo Ciriza, the investor in the micro-finance firm, opposed their release saying it would put his life in danger.

However, the magistrate released Muchungu on a cash bail of Sh1.5 million while Ndwiga and  Mumbi were freed on Sh1 million cash bail each.

The trial magistrate said although there were threats allegations on the life of Eduardo and his relatives, there was no evidence that the accused were involved.

The court was told that the complainant has been receiving threats since the mysterious death of his brother Gonzalo Hernadez Ciriza.

He alleged that his brother Gonzalo died in his car near Nairobi Central Police Station after allegedly having a confrontation with  Muchungu at the Meridian Acceptance Limited, Nairobi.

“Gonzalo died in suspicious circumstances inside his car while on his way from work after having a quarrel with James Muchungu who threatened him,” Eduardo stated in a sworn affidavit filed in court.

The court heard that Muchungu had sacked all the other staff in MAL and employed his relatives.

“Muchungu has changed the locks and barred Eduardo, who is also the chairman of the establishment, from accessing the office even after investing Sh380 million,” the prosecution said.

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