Bank executives freed on cash bail after two days in custody
Posted Wednesday, June 13 2012 at 19:40
Two Ecobank executives facing alleged forgery charges were on Wednesday released on cash bail after spending two days at the Muthaiga police station.
Senior principal magistrate Lucy Nyambura ordered Michael Monari and Wilfred Nyasimi Oroko to execute a cash bail of Sh300,000 each to secure their freedom.
She declined a plea by the prosecution for the two to deposit their passports in court on allegations that they were a flight risk.
“Ecobank has given a written undertaking to ensure the suspects attend court as and when required. For that reason, there is no enough ground to continue holding them or their passports,” ruled the anti-corruption court magistrate.
However, she warned them of the consequences in case they fail to appear for the hearing of the criminal charges on August 20 to 24.
The prosecution said it will call 20 witnesses to testify on the alleged forgery involving a prime property in Nairobi.
Mr Monari is the Ecobank’s managing director in Kampala, Uganda while Mr Oroko is the bank’s senior group officer in Lome, Togo. They have denied the forgery charges.
They are accused of obtaining the registration of the four-storey building located along Nairobi’s Mokhtar Dadar Street behind Nakumatt Lifestyle at Sh105 million by false pretences.
The property is in a dispute between the bank and the family of the late owner Mohammed Habib over its alleged irregular sale.
The prosecution submitted that the two procured for Akiba Bank, a precursor of Ecobank, the registration of replacement of change of title deed to property without the consent of the estate administrators.
Investigation has been going on since last year, but the two managers could not be charged because they moved to the constitutional court seeking to stop prosecution on grounds that their rights were being infringed but the case was dismissed by Mr Justice Mohammed Warsame.
The complaint against the managers was lodged by businessman Mohamed Abubakar who is the son of Habib.
He asked the police to investigate the alleged forgery of charge and registration of a title of Nairobi Hotel Downtown belonging to his family.
The title had been charged to the bank by the late Habib after he borrowed a loan of Sh7.5 million from the bank and by the time he passed on in 2007, he had repaid Sh6.5 million, but the bank continued demanding Sh105 million.
The hotel was later sold to a businessman John Kariuki Ngururi.