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KCB fails in bid to revive Sh70m fraud case against ex-manager

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KCB fails in bid to revive Sh70m fraud case against ex-manager


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Kenya Commercial Bank branch in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • A bench of three judges agreed with Anne Kajuju that the suit cannot be revived, having been dismissed because KCB failed to prosecute it.
  • High Court judge David Majanja dismissed the case in February last year after the lender failed to prosecute the case for more than a decade.

KCB Group #ticker:KCB has been dealt a blow by the Court of Appeal after dismissing a bid by the lender to revive a fraud case involving its former operations manager accused of embezzling more than Sh70 million.

A bench of three judges agreed with Anne Kajuju that the suit cannot be revived, having been dismissed because KCB failed to prosecute it.

“In light of the above threshold, it is our finding that the applicant’s application before the trial court for revival of the suit dismissed for want of prosecution having been dismissed on its merit, there is nothing capable of being stayed by this Court,” Justices Roselyn Nambuye, Patrick Kiage and Sankale ole Kantai said.

High Court judge David Majanja dismissed the case in February last year after the lender failed to prosecute the case for more than a decade.

Ms Kajuju was alleged to have been the mastermind of a scheme where Sh73 million was paid out through cheques stolen from the bank.

She was employed by the lender as the operations manager at the bank’s Prestige Plaza Branch on Ngong Road, Nairobi.

She was accused that on diverse dates between November 3, 2008 and March 4, 2009, she fraudulently and without authority, signed various bankers’ cheques which were in her custody for varying amounts payable to several persons, among them her three children, husband, sister and the best man during her wedding.

In 2010, Chief Justice Martha Koome, then a judge of the High Court, froze several accounts belonging to the suspects, pending the hearing and determination of the matter.

At some point, the court had recommended mediation which did not take off because a mediator was never appointed. Thereafter no action took place until Ms Kajuju and Charles Magondu filed the application to dismiss the case.

Ms Kajuju asked the court to dismiss the case arguing that the bank had not taken any active steps to prosecute the suit and that the failure to prosecute the case would prejudice her right to a fair hearing.

The judge said although the lender blamed the court for failing to take steps to proceed with mediation after the case was mentioned in March 2017, KCB did not take steps to enquire about the mediation or prosecute the suit.



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