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Court declines to review ruling on CS Tuju’s property dispute case

By Nancy Gitonga
Friday, February 14th, 2020
Jubilee party secretary general Raphael Tuju.


Jubilee Party Secretary General Raphael Tuju, who is adimitted to a Nairobi hospital following a road accident on Wednesday, risks losing a multi-billion-shilling property in Karen after the High Court declined to review a foreign judgement stopping a bank from recovering Sh1.5 billion debt from him.

In her ruling Justice Wilfrida Okwany said  she cannot review the UK judgement that had allowed the East African Development Bank (EADB) to recover a Sh1.5 billion debt from Tuju, saying the court lacks the jurisdiction do so.

"This court does no have powers to review judgements delivered by a foreign country," ruled Justice Okwany.

This is a double blow for Tuju who is recuperating at Karen Hospital after being involved in an accident along the Nairobi-Nakuru Road while on his way to attend the burial of former President Daniel arap Moi.

The judge subsequently disallowed Tuju and Dari Limited's application for review and stay of execution.

"The order made by the English court cannot be impeached by the High Court and am satisfied that the judgment and orders made by the UK court were worthy of recognition," said Okwany.

The judgement that was to be executed by the bank over a loan was delivered in the UK and all issues were canvassed there.

After the judgement delivered by the UK court last year court Tuju ought to have appealed against the decision of the foreign court.

She pointed out that the Jubilee secretary general was given an opportunity to respond but failed to do so.

Tuju had late last year moved to the High Court seeking to block the auction of properties, which he used to access a multi-million dollar loan for the construction of luxury apartments in Nairobi's leafy Karen suburb.

The SG had taken a bank loan for development of the 12 luxury homes worth Sh1.2 billion.

The loans were targeted for the construction of Sh100 million two-storey, flat-roofed bungalows sitting on a 20-acre forested land dubbed Entim Sidai and purchase of a 94-year-old bungalow built by a Scottish missionary, Dr Albert Patterson, which currently operates as a high-end restaurant.

But EADB had sought to enforce a ruling by a London court that found Tuju to have defaulted on the loan, including principal and interest.

During the hearing of the application for review Tuju through Senior Counsel Paul Muite and Paul Nyamodi , had blamed the bank for the delayed construction of the homes after the lender declined to provide additional funds for building the houses in breach of the loan agreement.

The defence said that the London court did not accord him a fair hearing, hence the judgement be set aside.

Tuju told the court that Dari Ltd raised the issue of bias before the UK court, claiming that Michael Sullivan, who represented the bank and the judge- Daniel Toledano, who presided over the matter, shared a chamber.

The bank had on December 23,2019 appointed receiver managers George Weru and Muniu Thoithi for the Tuju property under Dari Limited to prepare for the sale of its assets to recover the Sh1.53 billion debt.

This prompted the courts on December 24,2019 to block the receiver managers from taking over Dari Limited until the suit property was heard and determined.

Tuju had  accused EADB of disbursing Sh932.7million instead of the agreed Sh943.9 million, adding that the bank had reneged on the plan to offer Sh294 million for building the luxury homes for sale.

The court heard EADB is fully aware that in the absence of the development of the housing units for sale as envisaged in the project proposal, Dari would not be able to service the loan facility.

Nyamodi also accuses EADB of stopping KCB Group from taking over the loan and derailing equity investments in the deal by Dubai investors.

He said the bank is frustrating Tuju's efforts to secure alternative funding thereby clogging his right to redeem the facility.

 

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