Nairobi, 16th June – High Court Justice Grace Nzioka has under unclear circumstances declared that she will no longer preside over the ksh 1.6 billion debt row between Jubilee Secretary General – Raphel Tuju and East Africa Development Bank (EADB).
Mr. Tuju obtained the 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.
By November 2017 when the repayments were scheduled to kick off, Dari limited defaulted, setting the stage for asset seizure pursuant to a signed agreement by both parties. Mr Tuju however moved to court accusing the bank of predatory loan practices.
On March 3rd, Justice Nzioka had issued a ruling that allowed the bank’s appointed receivers – Mr Muniu Thoithi & Mr George Weru to take over the management of a 20-acre prime land in Karen and the luxurious Dari restaurant – both of which Mr Tuju had listed as security for the loan.
The Jubilee Secretary General claimed that the development of 12 luxury bungalows fell behind schedule and as such, Dari limited was unable to service the loan.
He further accused EADB of disbursing Sh932.7 million instead of the agreed Sh943.9 million adding that the bank denied his company a second loan amount of Ksh 294 Million which would have been utilized for Phase 2 construction of housing units for sale.
In another parallel case slotted for July 2nd 2020, the bank had given Dari Limited 3 weeks (21 days) to clear the full loan amount plus interest, failure to which the bank will have no option but to file a bankruptcy petition against them.
Justice Nzioka’s decision to recuse herself today comes barely a week after the High Court directed that the ruling that allowed the bank’s receivers to take over assets belonging to Mr Tuju be argued afresh.
She said that the meat of the matter was more important than the judge presiding over it.
“I am finding it personally unable to continue hearing this matter. I am now taking this liberty to personally without being moved by any party – to recuse myself from the hearing of this matter” She said.
She directed that the matter be mentioned before a presiding judge of the commercial and tax division on June 25th 2020.