KBC pension scheme fights lawyer’s Sh1.4bn fees claim

The Kenya Broadcasting Corporation offices in Nairobi.  

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) pension scheme now says a lawyer claiming more than Sh1.4 billion in legal fees for representing them in a dispute with their employer had been paid half of the amount the parties agreed on in 2018.

The board of trustees of the KBC Staff Retirement Benefits Scheme allege that there was an agreement between lawyer Morara Omoke and the board that he would be paid Sh480,000 for representing them in pursuit of their unremitted dues.

In an affidavit filed in court, the chairman of the board Mr Martin King’asia said the agreement was never brought to the attention of the court and the fact that the law firm was paid half of the amount.

The lawyer was awarded Sh57.5 million by the deputy registrar Aziza Ajwang’ after taxing his fees for representing the pensioners against KBC as they pursued unremitted dues over the years. Mr Omoke moved to court seeking to set aside the decision of Aziza Ajwang delivered on December 22, last year and his fees reviewed upwards. The board said the bid by the lawyer to review the pay upwards would lead to an unjust enrichment.

“This honourable court has powers to out-rightly reject the reference as filed, allow the respondent (the board of trustees) to file the final judgment in the original/mother file and enable the pension scheme to pursue its entitlement from its sponsor KBC for the benefit of its members,” Mr King’asia said in a sworn statement.

Employment and Labour Relations court judge Kebira Ocharo directed the parties to file their submissions ahead of the hearing on July 10.

The board of trustees said Mr Omoke was first instructed to recover Sh873.3 million from KBC, an amount that is yet to be remitted to date.

Mr King’asia said the scheme is not a commercial venture nor does it generate any form of revenue and the claim for more fees would cripple it.

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