High Court has temporarily prohibited Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) and the Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) from arresting or prosecuting lawyer Tom Ojienda over disputed unpaid tax for the years 2009-2016.
Justice Chacha Mwita also barred the two from commencing any civil proceedings or harassing Ojienda in respect to the issue.
In his petition, Professor Ojienda claims he is a victim of threats and intimidation following his quest for re-election for the coveted post as a member of Judicial Service Commission.
“KRA is being used to fight political battles, especially now that the JSC-LSK representative elections are approaching,” argues Ojienda.
The Professor adds that on the 5th of September 2016, KRA served him a notice requiring the payment of Sh 378,682,140, which was arrived at after illegal amendments to his tax register and insertion of fictitious figures derived from clients’ deposits and personal emoluments.
After a month, Ojienda filed an application seeking to quash the assessment of KRA demanding from him Sh 443 million and an amended assessment demanding from him 378 million as total tax due for 2009-2016 and 2011-2016.
Justice George Odunga quashed the assessment and prohibited the taxman from acting upon the assessment.
The applicant argues that the purported impugned investigations and subsequent assessment was calculated to embarrass him.
“It is malicious, defamatory, immoral, vindictive, irresponsible and purely political in nature solely intended to intimidate me with some desired results in the performance of my duties especially in the JSC.
Ojienda claims that the Barclays Bank is his personal account where he receives his salaries, emoluments and other allowances from his employment.
“All my salaries and allowances earned through my employment as a lecturer at Moi University, Member of National Environment Tribunal, Commissioner of the Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) and Commissioner of the Judicial Service Commission are paid into this account wherein income tax is automatically deducted from payable amount before it is paid to me, said the professor.
In addition, the petitioner claims the said illegal assessment has subjected him to trauma and unnecessary psychological torture and anxiety.
He further alleges that the money received and kept in the Standard Chartered and Barclays Bank accounts was not entitled to him or any of his partners, neither present nor past. The said money was not in payment of or on account of the agreed fee in any matter that the firm handled.