Nairobi Governor Dr Evans Kidero
Nairobi Governor Dr Evans Kidero got a reprieve after the High Court stopped the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) from probing his bank accounts.
Justice Chacha Mwita ruled that pending the hearing and determination of Dr Kidero's application, CMA should not proceed with a request to several banks to be furnished with the governor's accounts details.
"The authority is restrained from investigating the petitioner's bank accounts until the court determines whether it has powers to carry out the probe," ruled Mwita.
Dr Kidero, through senior counsel Prof Tom Ojienda argued that the CMA's sudden decision to investigate his bank accounts just a few days to the elections were politically instigated meant to portray him as a corrupt leader and give advantage to his competitors in the gubernatorial race.
According to Prof Ojienda, CMA tricked the governor into having a discussion on possible solutions to revive Mumias Sugar Company, only for them to use that information as the basis to investigate his bank accounts.
"Dr Kidero is a victim of a well schemed script by political opponents who want him harassed and intimidated by different government agencies to achieve a political outcome and do away with him as Nairobi governor," said Ojienda.
Prof Ojienda told the court that CMA invited Dr Kidero to a meeting in November 2015 for an explanation on governance practices used by Mumias Sugar Company when he was the managing director from 2002 to 2012.
Prof Ojienda submitted that on January 12 2017, CMA invited Dr Kidero again to share his experience at the company which he did and left the matter to rest.
"It was with utter shock that we learnt on July 20 that CMA had illegally and in blatant show of bad faith orchestrated a move to investigate Dr Kidero's bank accounts from 2006 to 2016 without any notification as required by law," said Ojienda.
According to Prof Ojienda, an audit report commissioned by CMA had proved no money was lost during Dr Kidero's tenure at Mumias Sugar and wondered why they waited until a few days to election to apply to the anti-banking fraud unit to have the accounts investigated.
He added that the CMA investigations constitute nothing but intimidation, harassment and violation of Dr Kidero's rights to dignity.
"In any event, they did not ask Dr Kidero to provide his bank statements when he honoured their invite for the interview. Nothing would have stopped him if they asked the governor to provide that information," said Ojienda.
Prof Ojienda said that Dr Kidero stopped being managing director of Mumias Sugar in 2012, and questioned why CMA wanted to link him to the company's woes by investigating accounts between 2006 and 2016.
He claimed that what CMA wants to investigate are actions which were taken by the company's board of directors which showed there was a scheme to discriminate and single out the governor as the cause of the company's fall.
Justice Mwita scheduled the hearing on October 23.