Companies

Nakumatt loses fight with widow of slain audit boss

Nakumatt

Nakumatt Thika Road. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Summary

  • Mr Karanja’s widow, Latoya Mghoi Kaka, says Nakumatt did not remit a Sh30 million insurance payout to his family despite receiving the sum from Kenindia Insurance.
  • Nakumatt Holdings Ltd administrator Peter Kahi and former chief executive Atul Shah raised a preliminary objection against the case and urged the court to strike it out.
  • The gist of the objection was that the case opened by the widow was sub-judicial since there is an insolvency petition pending determination at a different court.

Nakumatt Holdings Limited has lost the bid to strike out a case filed by the widow of its former internal auditor James Maina Karanja who was shot dead under mysterious circumstances in June 2015 over non-payment of Sh30 million insurance claims.

Mr Karanja’s widow, Latoya Mghoi Kaka, says Nakumatt did not remit a Sh30 million insurance payout to his family despite receiving the sum from Kenindia Insurance.

Nakumatt Holdings Ltd administrator Peter Kahi and former chief executive Atul Shah raised a preliminary objection against the case and urged the court to strike it out.

The gist of the objection was that the case opened by the widow was sub-judicial since there is an insolvency petition pending determination at a different court.

But justice Alfred Mabeya ruled that the widow’s claim in the case before him and the one at the Insolvency Court were completely different.

“In Insolvency proceedings, all that will be dealt with is whether the assets of the company will be adequate to settle the company’s debts,” said the judge. In these proceedings, the question will be, how did the company through its directors deal with the trust property meant for the estate of the deceased.”

Nakumatt received the cash that was meant for the slain auditor family’s compensation arising from a life insurance policy.

Ms Kaka, after being granted administration of her late husband’s estate, attempted to collect the money but learned that the money had been received by Nakumatt, which is yet to remit it to her and late Karanja’s other survivors.

In her court papers, the widow wants the said amount to be remitted to her or the estate of the deceased.

Karanja died on June 7, 2015, at around 5pm, after being shot twice in the head and once in the chest by gunmen who were riding a motorcycle.

Police said the gunmen, who were on a motorcycle, attacked Karanja on a narrow access road near Panari Hotel and rode towards Mombasa Road after the shooting without stealing anything.

Police officer Ezekiel Momanyi Onsongo has since been charged alongside Philip Manyura Maroko — an accounts manager at Nakumatt — and Dennison Mose Maroko, a boda boda operator.

Nakumatt closed shop in January with debts estimated at Sh30 billion — including Sh18 billion to suppliers, Sh4 billion to commercial paper holders and the rest to banks, who are more aggressive in pursuing their unpaid loans.