Govt to appeal court order blocking construction of new ferry

The Kenya Ferry Services (KFS) says it will fight a High Court decision stopping the ongoing construction of one of two ferries worth Sh2 billion in Turkey.

Lawyer Cecil Miller told Justice Erick Ogola yesterday that his client (KFS) was aggrieved with his order not to continue building the vessel pending the hearing and determination of an application filed by a firm – Bonriz Insurance Marine Surveyors.

“We seek leave to appeal in as far as the second ferry is considered. We have are glad with the other court decision,” added Mr Miller.
Bonriz is the company that filed a petition warning that the quality of the two vessels were inferior.

The firm was also questioning the current cost of the two ferries, saying it was revised upwards without justification.

Justice Ogola this week issued orders allowing the first vessel, MV Jambo, to be deployed along the Likoni channel after its seaworthiness has been determined.

READ: Uhuru to launch new ferry after court gives greenlight

ALSO READ: KFS to challenge court order on Sh2 bn ferries

He further ordered KFS to ensure the new vessel meets local and international safety standards before being allowed to ferry commuters between Mombasa Island and the mainland.

However, he said that Bonriz had raised an arguable case against the second ferry, which would have been due in the country in November this year.

Challenge decision

On its part, Bonriz – through lawyer Gikandi Ngibuni – also indicated that it would appeal against the decision to allow KFS to put MV Jambo to use.

According to Mr Gikandi, they will move to the appeal court to quash the decision by Justice Ogola.

The firm claims that the ferries were being made using substandard materials against the express standards agreed upon in the contract with the ship builder.

This article was published by the BUSINESS DAILY on August 3, 2017

Court summons four former Chase Bank officials

A Nairobi court yesterday issued summons for four former senior officials of Chase Bank to plead to the charges of conspiring to defraud the bank more than Sh 1.6 billion.

Milimani senior principal magistrate Martha Mutuku issued the summons for Abdul Ahmed, Ghanrish Omar, Amiran Claudia and Mohammed Khan.

This was after their lawyer Cecil Miller opposed prosecution application, asking the court to issue warrants of arrest against the suspects for failing to appear in court to take a plea.

Miller requested the court not to issue arrest warrants, saying his clients did not deliberately fail to attend court.

He said they had previously presented themselves to the Banking Fraud Investigations Unit to have their fingerprints taken and record statements.

The lawyer assured the court he will present them in court during the next mention on September 4.

The magistrate granted Miller’s request and issued only summons for the suspects.

The four are jointly charged alongside former Chase Bank chairman Zafrullah Khan and three others, also senior former managers. They are Kabui Gichui, James Mwenja and Makaros Agumbi.

They have since denied charges of fraud and are out on Sh2 million bail each.

They were granted bail, following a successful application by Miller who told the court his clients are not a flight risk.

The accused are charged that between August 28, 2009, and March 31, 2016, they conspired with intent to defraud Chase Bank Ltd by pretending the disbursement of Sh1.6 billion they effected from internal account of the bank to the accounts of Camelia Investments Ltd, Cleopatra Holdings Ltd, Golden Azure Ltd and Colbrook Holding Ltd were genuine loan facilities to the entities.

Chase Bank collapsed in April 2016 and has since been under the control of the Central Bank of Kenya.

This article was published by THE STAR newspaper on August 4, 2017

Court summons four more ex-Chase bank managers in Ksh1.6 billion fraud case

Four more managers of the collapsed Chase Bank have been summoned to court to answer charges relating to the Ksh1.6 billion fraud case.

Lawyer Cecil Miller stopped a warrant of arrest requested against Amiran Claudia and Mohammed Khan after the prosecution claimed they had failed to turn up in court.

Prosecuting counsel James Warui Mungai told the trial court Abdul Ahmed and Gharish Omar are in Canada and are willing to come and answer the charges in two weeks, but asked arrest warrants be executed against Claudia and Khan.

Miller objected, saying the court had already issued summons against his clients and that they had since presented themselves before Banking Fraud investigators, where further statements were taken instead.

“As far as I am aware they have not failed to turn up…a warrant of arrest would be too harsh,” Miller said.
Fresh summons

Miller insisted the court issues fresh summons instead of warrants of arrest.

He likened the prosecution’s predicament to a disconnect in communication between the ODPP and BFID.

“It is miscommunication between the two…” he submitted.

Miller said BFID had told him he needed to take them for fingerprints and attendant processing which precede attendance in court but instead detectives recorded “further statements.”

Mungai said he was not privy to this development!

The trial court settled for the suggestion by Miller and issued “fresh summons” to be honoured on September 4 2017.

Former managers Duncan Kabui Gichui, James Mwenja, and Makarios Agumbi, have since been charged alongside the bank’s ex-chairman Zarfullah Khan.

This article was published by JUSTICENOW.CO.KE on August 3, 2017

Court order paves way for MV Jambo launch by Uhuru

Kenya ferry managing director Bakari Gowa with lawyer Elijah Kitur and Cecil Miller at Mombasa law court on August 1st 2017 in a case where consultancy firm had sued KFS for a wrongful termination of contract. Mombasa high has given a go-ahead for launching of new ferry MV Jambo. President Uhuru Kenyatta will be attending/CFM NEWS
Kenya ferry managing director Bakari Gowa with lawyer Elijah Kitur and Cecil Miller at Mombasa law court on August 1st 2017 in a case where consultancy firm had sued KFS for a wrongful termination of contract. Mombasa high has given a go-ahead for launching of new ferry MV Jambo. President Uhuru Kenyatta will be attending/CFM NEWS

The High Court in Mombasa on Tuesday lifted an injunction stopping the launch of MV Jambo ferry by President Uhuru Kenyatta in Mombasa.

The launch had been delayed by a court pending hearing and determination of an application by a local company that had raised issues about safety and quality of two new ferries procured from Turkey.

According to court records, Bonriz Insurance Marine Surveyors filed the case under a certificate of urgency while raising serious claims regarding quality and safety of the new vessels.

The company, which was contracted by KFS to carry out an assessment of two ferries, also raised questions regarding price adjustments on the vessels.

The launch had been scheduled for July 27.

Judge Erick Ogolla’s ruling allowed the KFS to use the vessels in ferrying commuters and motorists at the Likoni ferry channel.

Judge Ogolla said court had no reasons in doubting some of the decisions made by the KFS in making sure the safety of the users was guaranteed and timely delivery of the ferries.

He said KFS had through lawyer Cecil Miller proved that the safety was guaranteed as they had produced a certificate of verification issued by Bureau Veritas Marine Division.

This will also allow the sea-testing of the much awaited MV Jambo.

The launch of the ferry will come as a relief to 30,000 ferry users and 6,000 motorists who use the channel on a daily basis.

However, the court suspended construction of the second ferry which was supposed to be delivered by December.

Ogolla said the temporary suspension orders will stay in place until the conclusion of the matter.

This article was published by CAPITAL FM NEWS on August 1, 2017

Ex-Chase Bank boss Zarfullah Khan bail terms may be reversed in high stakes court decision

The prosecution lodged an appeal against the reprieve ex-Chase bank boss Zarfulla Khan gained through his lawyer, Cecil Miller.

A bare-knuckled legal bout is in the offing, Octane, more so, that the defence believes the prosecution goofed from the onset by charging Khan with unsubstantiated claims of conspiring to defraud the collapsed lending institution Ksh1.6 billion.

Miller had told the court not allow his client plead to the charges of conspiracy,  money laundering…

He later asked the court to grant his client bail arguing there are no compelling reasons to deny Khan a legal right.

The court slapped Khan with Ksh60 million bond term, ordering that he presents two Kenyan sureties to deposit KSh30 million each, to secure his freedom from custody following a sensational arrest in Nairobi.
Freeing Khan

Unrelentingly,  Miller appeared in court and fought for a reduction, reviewed downwards to freeing Khan on a Ksh2 million cash bail pending hearing and determination of the case.

In her ruling, magistrate Martha Mutuku upheld arguments by Khan’s lawyer, Cecil Miller seeking review of the bond terms.

“The accused is serious about seeking medical attention abroad and therefore not a flight risk. I, therefore, order that he be released on a cash bail of Ksh2 million,” she ruled.

The magistrate also ordered, a bond of Ksh10 million and two sureties to deposit Ksh2 million each to the court in the alternative.

Miller presented copies of documentation indicating Khan needed urgent medical attention.

It is this review that has formed the base of an appeal to be staged before a judge and Justicenow.co.ke will be following.
Profiled alongside Khan

Miller has since represented three managers of the collapsed bank who police profile alongside Khan.

Duncan Gichui, the former group managing director, James Mwenja, the general manager of credit and Makarios Agumbi, the finance general manager, appeared before Milimani senior principal magistrate Martha Mutuku and denied various counts of fraud.
Prior to processing

The magistrate ordered each of them to be released on Sh5 million bond with a surety of a similar amount with the alternative of Sh2 million bail following a successful application for lower terms by their lawyer Cecil Miller, “in view that the charges were different in seriousness of magnitude and amounts.”

“They took themselves to banking fraud prior to processing and honouring summons, thus not a flight risk,” Miller said.

Miller undertook to deposit the suspects passports in court and said he will be making formal requests in court for permission and occasional release “should they have to  travel.”

This article was published by JUSTICENOW.CO.KE on July 24, 2017

Former Chase Bank managers deny fraud charge

Three former senior managers of Chase Bank were on Thursday charged with conspiracy to defraud the financial institution of Sh1.6 billion.

Former managing director Duncan Gichu; former general manager, credit, James Mwenja; and former general manager, finance, Makarios Agumbi denied the charge when they appeared before Senior Principal Magistrate Martha Mutuku.

This brings to four the number of former bosses of the bank who have been charged with fraud.

The institution’s former chairman Zafrullah Khan was earlier charged with similar offences.

BED REST

He was to appear in court on Thursday for the mentioning of the case but his lawyer Cecil Miller informed the court that his doctor had recommended bed rest of between four to six weeks for him.

The three are accused of committing the offence between August 28, 2009, and March 31, 2016, at the bank’s headquarters in Nairobi.

It is alleged that they conspired to defraud the bank by effecting transfers from the institution’s internal accounts to the accounts of the Camelia Investments, Cleopatra Holdings, Golden Azure and Colnbrook Holdings companies.

After they denied the charges, Ms Mutuku directed them to deposit in court Sh5 million bond and one surety each or pay cash bail of Sh2 million each to secure their release.

The case will be mentioned on August 3.

This article was first published by Nation on July 21