Bid to freeze former Judiciary registrar Anne Amadi bank accounts in gold fraud case flops

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A British trader who was defrauded of Sh100 million in a gold scam has failed to convince the Court of Appeal to freeze the personal bank accounts of former Chief Registrar of the Judiciary Anne Amadi.

The appellate court said although Mr Demetrios Bradshaw, a director of Bruton Gold Trading had an arguable case, he had admitted that the funds which were meant for the purchase of gold were withdrawn immediately after they were deposited in the law firm Amadi & Associates Advocates.

Justices Sankale ole Kantai, Mumbi Ngugi and Mwaniki Gachoka said the orders being sought by the Briton then, were negative and incapable of being granted.

“Further, by its own averment, the funds in contention were withdrawn from the accounts immediately or soon after deposit, and so there is nothing for the Court to preserve by issuing injunctive orders,” said the judges.

The Dubai-based gold trading firm sued Ms Amadi, her son Brian Ochieng' and three other advocates seeking a refund of the millions he paid in US dollars meant for the purchase of the 1,500kg bars of gold in 2021.

Others named in the case are lawyers Andrew Njenga Kiarie, Adrian Topoti, Daniel Ndegwa Kangara alias Daniel Muriithi, and Edward Taylor alias Mboronda Seyenkulo Sakor.

Mr Ochieng' and Mr Kiarie are advocates in the law firm, Amadi & Associates, while Mr Kangara was representing a company called Universal Gold Logistics Limited (UGL) and Mr Sakor was said to have been the vendor of the gold.

The Briton had initially obtained orders freezing Ms Amadi’s personal bank accounts but Justice Alfred Mabeya lifted the order stating that the former CRJ resigned from the law firm after joining the Judiciary in 2014.

The judge said there was nothing to show that Ms Amadi was involved in the day-to-day activities of the law firm and that Mr Ochieng' was an adult who should carry his own cross independent of his mother.

“It cannot be the case that a son has eaten the sour grapes so the mother’s peace should be set on edge,” the judge said in a ruling in June last year.

The Briton rushed to the Court of Appeal arguing that the trial court took a pre-determined position and made a final determination at a preliminary stage of the suit.

Though his lawyer Joseph Murage, the Briton said his firm never received gold, yet the court refused to issue an order freezing bank accounts or, in the alternative, direct that the funds be deposited in court pending the determination of the case.

Ms Amadi maintained that she was never a signatory to the bank accounts and therefore, incapable of making withdrawals or any other transaction on them.

She further said through her lawyer Ochieng Oduol that she would be unfairly financially crippled if the orders sought are granted as she would be barred from providing for herself and her family.

“In the present case, no evidence has been tendered in support of the general and spurious allegations that I have fraudulently benefitted from the alleged gold consignment,” Ms Amadi said in an affidavit filed in court.

“Accordingly, we find that the applicant has failed to satisfy the second limb of the principles under rule 5(2)(b) of the rules of this Court, and we accordingly find that its application is without merit,” said the judges.

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