Court extends Amadi's accounts freeze in Sh100m gold fraud case

Chief Registrar of the Judiciary Anne Amadi. FILE PHOTO | NMG

The High Court has extended an order freezing the bank accounts of Chief Registrar of Judiciary Anne Amadi, pending a ruling on whether the suit filed by a Dubai gold trader who claims to have been defrauded Sh100 million, is valid.

Justice Alfred Mabeya extended the freeze order up to Friday, June 2, when he will rule on the application by Ms Amadi, seeking to strike out the case or remove her from the suit.

Ms Amadi argued in the application that she has not been in private practice since 2014, having resigned from Amadi and Associates after joining the Judiciary.

She also said through lawyer Ochieng Oduol that there is nothing to show that the alleged funds for the purchase of 1,500 kilogrammes of gold by Bruton Gold Trading LLC, were wired to her personal bank account.

“The orders are hereby extended to June 2, when the court will rule on the application,” Justice Mabeya directed.

But the gold trader through the law firm on Murage Juma & Company Advocates said Ms Amadi’s son- Brian Ochieng and Andrew Njenga Kiarie as agents of Amadi and Associates confirmed that they received money and withdrew it.

The court was informed that there is no evidence that the money ever left the hands of Mr Ochieng and Mr Kiarie as agents of the said law firm.

Mr Joseph Murage further told the court that an introduction letter sent to ABC Bank by Ms Amadi in June 2020 confirmed that she was still a proprietor of the law firm.

He further said there is nothing to show that she resigned from the law firm other than a letter to the Law Society of Kenya stating her leave of absence from private practice.

“She is the registered proprietor of the firm. It is also on record that the 2nd and 3rd (Mr Ochieng and Mr Kiarei) registered another firm KAN Advocates. If the court does not preserve the substratum of the case, there is the danger of the money held by Amadi being removed from the jurisdiction of the court,” Mr Murage submitted.

In reply, Mr Oduol submitted that the mere fact that police investigated the matter, does not mean that Ms Amadi is culpable.

The lawyer said the court must examine the facts and reach its conclusion. Mr Oduol further said the case was brought with the intention of besmirching Ms Amadi.

“She does not trade. The crux of the matter is that she ceased private practice in January 2014 and this suit was filed for collateral purposes,” Mr Oduol said.

Lawyer Sam Nyaberi for Mr Ochieng and Mr Kiarie submitted that the law firm does not trade in gold but they were approached to draw an escrow agreement for a company identified as Universal Gold Logistics Ltd (UGL).

Mr Nyaberi also said the escrow agreement, ousts the jurisdiction of the court because there is a clause for arbitration in case a dispute arises.

The gold trader Demetrios Bradshaw, a British passport holder obtained the orders freezing the law firm’s bank accounts and those of Ms Amadi, after claiming to have been defrauded of more than Sh100 million in US dollars in 2021.

The trader said the money was meant for the purchase of gold bars, but the precious metal was never delivered to the buyer in Dubai.

The other defendants in the case are Kikanae Topoti, Daniel Ndegwa Kangara alias Daniel Muriithi and Edward Taylor alias Mboronda Seyenkulo Sakor, a Liberian passport holder.

Mr Ochieng, Mr Kiarie and Mr Topoti are advocates in the law firm, Amadi and Associates, while Mr Kangara was representing UGL and Mr Sakor was said to have been the vendor of the gold.

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