Orders to seize movable properties belonging to billionaire Humphrey Kariuki and two companies associated with him have been stayed by a Nairobi court pending hearing of an application filed by the three.
This means that in the meantime, police can not seize, detain or freeze the said assets which range from high end vehicles to aircrafts.
Senior Resident Magistrate Muthoni Nzibe stayed the orders issued after Humphrey Kariuki , Africa Spirits Limited and Wow Beverages Limited filed application under certificate of urgency claiming orders issued on August 9, have the effect of crippling and ruining the operations of Wow Beverages Limited.
The applicants argued that court erred in granting permanent orders to seize, restrain, detain and freeze their properties and those of persons at exparte stage without hearing the parties affected by the order.
“None of the assets sought to be searched, restrained, detained, frozen or preserved are subject of any of the criminal cases before the Milimani chief Magistrate court,” argues the applicants.
The three aver that the Director of Public Prosecution’s application was in bad faith, contrary to the administration of justice and he usurp powers not vested to him.
Senior Resident Magistrate Electa Riany had previously issued orders authorizing Chief Inspector Peter Oruko to search buildings, ships, aircrafts (PC12 ZS-TDL and Bombardier T7-DNK), vehicles, companies and boxes belong to the tycoon and the two companies whereby he is the majority shareholder.
Wow Beverages Limited lawyer submitted that the large portion of its assets were acquired before the period in which the charges alleged in the three criminal cases and the proceeds of crimes and Anti-Money laundering Act came to force.
Kariuki is wanted by authorities over allegations of Sh 41 billion tax evasion, possession of fake tax stamps, possession of uncustomed goods among other charges