East African Development Bank (EADB) through its lawyer Senior Counsel Fred Ojiambo wants Jubilee Secretary-General Raphel Tuju confined to civil jail for frequently disobeying court orders in an ongoing Ksh 1.6 Billion debt row.
The Senior Counsel claimed that the rate at which Mr. Tuju was blatantly disregarding court orders was solid evidence that the Jubilee party Secretary-General does not place great value on the court’s authority.
Mr. Tuju obtained the Ksh 1.6 Billion loan through his company Dari limited on April 10, 2015, with the intention of constructing 12 – Sh100 million two-storey, flat-roofed bungalows sitting on 20 acres, and the purchase of a 94-year-old bungalow.
In November 2017 when the loan repayments were scheduled to kick-off, the Jubilee Secretary-General defaulted – essentially setting himself up for a collision course with the regional lender.
Pursuant to a signed agreement, when the bank moved to recover debt security which included a 20-acre prime land in Karen and a high-end restaurant in the same area, Tuju moved to court accusing the bank of what he referred to as predatory loan practices.
What was supposed to be a grand bonanza for Dari limited has now become the mainspring for bitter court fights with the lender and a glaring threat of being declared financially insolvent.
Intriguingly, since last year when the matter was brought to the attention of the High Court, Mr Tuju has successfully managed to drag the matter for months thanks to a combination of less flattering delay tactics and strong-arming judges into submission and recusal.
Mr. Tuju claimed that the development of the 12 luxury bungalows fell behind schedule and as such, Dari limited was in no position to service the loan. To date, Maudhui House understands that Jubilee party Secretary-General has never paid a dime.
On March 3rd, the High Court had issued a ruling that allowed the bank’s appointed receivers – Mr. Muniu Thoithi & Mr. George Weru to take over the management the two properties listed as security.
In affidavit sent to the High Court, the receivers claim that despite the court orders granting them access to the two properties, they have on all occasions been hanged out to dry – thanks to sinister instructions issued to Dari limited staff to lock out anyone who resembles a receiver.
The receiver’s affidavit claimed that Dari Restaurant, in particular, went on to lay-off all staff, transfer all movable assets and took away all documents regarding the operational and financial position of the restaurant.
During a fresh hearing of the matter before presiding Judge Mary Kasango on July 22nd, lawyer Fred Ojiambo called for the High Court to decisively enforce the court orders regardless of Mr. Tuju position in government.
“What we have is continuous and contemptuous refusal to comply with legitimate orders of this court”.
He said that the debt owed to the bank continues to mount and may soon rise above the value of the two properties listed as security for the loan.
Last week, Mr. Tuju, finally complied with a Court of Appeal order issued in June requiring him to deposit Ksh 50 Million into an escrow account as a condition for halting EADB’s plan to auction the properties listed as security.
Lawyer Fred Ojimabo said that EADB was seeking full and complete access to the two properties in compliance with court orders in their possession. Justice Kasango said she would issue a ruling on the matter on Tuesday, 30th July 2020.