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Short-lived relief for ex-KCB boss in Sh70m fraud case

David Majanja
Justice David Majanja. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The High Court has frozen assets and funds in several accounts belonging to a former operations manager at Kenya Commercial Bank #ticker:KCB and 28 other persons alleged to have stolen Sh70 million from the lender more than a decade ago.

Justice David Majanja restored the orders freezing 10 bank accounts linked to former operations manager Ann Kajuju. The order also barred the sale or transfer of two motor vehicles and a parcel of land in Ngong, Kajiado County.

The freeze order was issued 10 years ago but early this month, Justice Majanja dismissed the case accusing the bank of failing to prosecute the case for 11 years.

Through Amimo Akong’a, the bank pleaded to be allowed to pursue the matter and preserve the funds, arguing that the lender might not be in a position to recover the money.

The accounts frozen are in six accounts at Equity Bank and one account each at Standard Chartered, Barclays (now Absa Kenya) and Citi Bank.

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The lawyer said he was not served with the application seeking to dismiss the case and there was no deliberate failure, on their part, to respond to the application. He said the parties had earlier been engaged in an out-of-court negotiations and meetings. “That as it can be noted, the matter involves a substantial amount lost by the bank under circumstances of suspected fraud and there are assets which were preserved after hearing inter-partes of the injunction application,” he said. He said the bank has already prepared a draft of witness statement which captures in detail the occurrence of the falleged raud, how it was perpetuated, the parties involved, the monies involved and how the money disappeared from the bank.

While dismissing the case on February 7, Justice Majanja said KCB did not take steps to prosecute the case.

“It is recognised that in this day and age parties have the obligation to prosecute actively. Long gone are the days when advocates and their clients would just sit and wait for the court to take steps,” Justice Majanja said.

Ms Kajuju is alleged to have been the mastermind of the entire scheme where Sh70.3 million was paid out through cheques stolen from the bank.

Justice Majanja directed the case to be heard on February 28.

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