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

The Star (Kenya) - - News Business - SU­SAN MUHINDI @muhindi_­suu

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.

/PHILIP KAMAKYA

Im­pe­rial Bank de­pos­i­tors out­side Mil­i­mani law court yes­ter­day

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