Imperial Bank wants lawyers out of Sh42 billion fraud case
Phillip Murgor says Ahmednassir Abdikadir and company advocates, Njoroge Nani Mungai of Muriu Mungai, and Coulson Harney will be prejudicial to their case
Imperial Bank Limited wants three law firms acting for the bank’s former director in a Sh42 billion fraud case prohibited from participating in the proceedings.
Through lawyer Philip Murgor, IBL says the participation of Ahmednassir Abdikadir and company advocates, Njoroge Nani Mungai of Muriu Mungai and Co Advocates, and Coulson Harney Advocates will be prejudicial to their case.
The firm of Ahmednassir Abdikadir appears for the estate of Abdulmalek Jan-Mohamed and Janco Investments Limited.
Coulson Harney and Njoroge Nani have acted on behalf of 10 former directors of the bank.
Imperial Bank says it has found a conflict of interest with regard to Coulson Harney.
It says the law firm has been involved in IBL’s restructuring, and cannot therefore act for its ex-directors.
“The said three firms of advocate’s being legal advisers of IBL, and during the period in which the fraud occurred, are privy to the IBL’s confidential information, which they may now utilise against the bank,” Murgor argued in an affidavit filed at the Milimani commercial court.
He says the concerned advocates are potential or actual witnesses, and hence cannot act as advocates, “more particularly as advocates against their former client – the bank”.
According to the court documents, Coulson Harney applied to join the bank’s panel of lawyers on December 10, 2013, where it was appointed and undertook several assignments.
These include a secret ‘Project Crown’, which involved the restructuring of the bank to create a new holding company known as Imperial Securities Ltd.
On the other hand, the firm of Muriu Mungai and Co advocates is listed in IBL’s audit report and financial statements for 2006-14 as its legal advisers. During this period, massive fraud at the bank was reported.
Murgor argues the participation of the three firms in the proceedings is prejudicial. IBL has argued that Coulson Harney and Ahmednassir have in their responses continued to annex as exhibits documents that are exclusively meant to be in the custody of IBL, namely CBK’s bank supervision reports.
“The forensic investigations conducted by FTI Consulting over the financial irregularities at Imperial Bank of Kenya has revealed multiple breaches of fiduciary duty on the part of the defendants leading to a massive, complex, long-running and well-orchestrated fraud,” reads the document.
Imperial Bank depositors outside Milimani law court yesterday