FORMER Taveta MP Basil Criticos is demanding over Sh3.5 billion from the National Bank of Kenya while accusing the bank of irregular sale of his land. The land, measuring approximately 15,994.5 acres, was sold in September 2007 to the Settlement Fund Trustees to recover a loan of Sh20 million advanced to a company in which Criticos was a director and a shareholder. In the case to be heard next month, the former MP says that the land was grossly undervalued and the sale was illegal because it was not consented by the land board.
In the case, Critocos says that the loan was advanced to Agro Development Company on or about 1990 and 1991. And to secure the loan, he charged the property to Kenya National Capital Corporation, which was succeeded by NBK. And in April 1997, the bank wrote to him demanding about Sh66.5 million from the company plus interest of 35 percent per month. He was given three months to repay the amount, but he says his efforts to sell the land and offset the loan were frustrated by several court cases as restraining orders were issued against him, he says.
But as the cases were pending, Criticos says that the bank sold the land to SFT for Sh55 million through private treaty. He, however, says there is no evidence that payments were made to the Kenya National Capital Corporation to settle the debt. The transfer was allegedly signed by the bank's managing director Reuben Marambii and company secretary Leonard Kamweti. Instead, the bank demanded a further Sh106 million.