25 June 2014

Kenya: Law Firm for Two Anglo Leasing Companies Sues for Unpaid Dues

Photo: Times of Zambia
Court gavel.

LAWYERS who represented two companies linked to Anglo Leasing want the court to grant them orders to effect their bill of more than Sh215 million.

Kwengu and Company advocates are claiming the sum from Apex Finance International and Anglo Leasing Finance International as their costs for representing the two companies in a 2011 suit against the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission.

In the case, the two companies were seeking orders from the High Court in Nakuru to bar the EACC from accessing financial reports of their accounts or freezing their assets in the European country.

The companies had also sought to get orders blocking the anti-graft body from seeking mutual legal assistance from Swiss authorities where both Apex and Anglo Leasing are said to hold their accounts.

However, Judge Anyara Emukule dismissed the suit in October 2012 citing that the two entities lacked juristic status needed to institute a civil case in court. The judge said that the two companies were non-existent and were improperly in court.

In a new twist however, a man who has been enjoined as an interested party in the costs suit wants the court to throw out the application.

George Oner Okello who the lawyers have termed as a personal assistant to Deepak Kamani and who they liaised with for the duration of the case for the purposes of their legal briefs has told the court that lawyer Apell Kwengu lacks the legal status to demand the costs.

Okello has claimed that the bill of costs is based on the pleadings of another lawyer Olaly Cheche who represented the two companies in court during the case against EACC.

Okello has added that it was later learned that Cheche has not held a Law Society of Kenya practicing certificate since 2010 and as such the pleadings he filed in 2011 were an illegality.

He has argued that Kwengu cannot therefore claim payment for work that was conducted by an unlicensed person.

In his plaint before court, Kwengu however stated that he met with Kamani, Okello, Vihang Joshi, another one of Kamani's personal assistants and Bryan Yongo and received instructions from Kamani to institute the case in Nakuru.

"It was agreed that for purposes of expediency and because of the likelihood of less media attention, the case be filed in Nakuru. It was further agreed that payment would be effected by Kamani through Joshi and Okello would be the liaison person for the purposes of legal briefs," Kwengu has told the court.

He added that he chose a Nakuru law firm owned by Cheche to hold his brief for the duration of the case for the purposes of a mailing address near the Nakuru law court.

"However, all the pleadings, briefs and work was done by my law firm," he has said.

Kwengu has further told the court that he arrived at the Sh215,834,117 sum as the accounts he was seeking to protect in Switzerland held in them more than Sh6.6 billion.

Judge Roselyne Wendoh has directed all parties to appear before her on October 7 for the hearing of the case.

Copyright © 2014 The Star. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.