Businesswoman Anne Njeri at pains to prove ownership of Sh17b oil cargo

Ms Ann Njeri during the National Assembly's Energy committee's sitting regarding the disputed Oil consignment at the Mini Chambers, County hall, Nairobi on December 20, 2023. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

Controversial businesswoman Anne Njeri was yesterday at pains to convince MPs that she was the owner of the contested Sh17 billion oil consignment.

Njeri, who appeared before the National Assembly Committee on Energy, had been summoned to adduce evidence supporting her claim against Galana Energies and also set the record straight on how she was able to import oil without a valid license.

The Vincent Musyoka-led committee sought to know the country of origin of the oil, how she paid for it and proof that she had complied with the relevant import laws.

Fuel shortage

But Ann’s Import and Export CEO surprised the committee after she admitted that she had never traded in the importation of oil into Kenya before and that she only decided to do it after learning of the biting fuel shortage in the country while in Dubai.

According to her own account, she then proceeded to pay Sh17 billion from a Russian oil dealer and had the oil shipped to the country, without checking to see whether she had complied with the set-out requirements.

"It is my humble submission that I procured this fuel for sale in any country in East Africa. As an upstream trader, I do not need a license to deliver fuel CIF to a customer who has a license to operate in their jurisdiction.

“I seek to be fully compensated for the loss of my product which was illegally taken possession of by Galana Energies,” she said.

Her woes deepened after she failed to give evidence of the payments made, terming the documents as private and confidential. This was after Nambale MP Geoffrey Mulanya sought to know how she moved such an enormous amount of money and how she was able to get the oil from Russia despite the sanctions.

“I have the swift codes to prove that I paid for the oil. However, they are not for the public. I can only show them to the chair of the committee,” stated Njeri, who said the payments were done through a bank transfer from a bank based in Dubai.

Njeri was accompanied by her friends, sister-in-law and lawyer.  

The committee was also treated to drama after Njeri failed to verbally provide the name of the company that sold her the oil, only to be alerted by her lawyer that the name was in her submission.

“Where exactly in Russia did you buy the oil from because in your submission you have stated that you got the consignment from Jedda, and not Russia as you just told the committee?” posed Turkana Woman Representative Cecilia Asinyen.

According to her submission, she got the oil from SC Ushkuyu based in the Republic of Kazakhstan.

The directorship of her company also came into question by the committee and this ultimately put her in trouble after the committee claimed she had tabled a forged tax compliance certificate from the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA).

“The certificate you have given us is fake because the name tax compliance has been misspelled to read Tax compllance,” said Musyoka.

“I will be inviting the KRA boss to come before this committee and verify the authenticity of this certificate.”

Njeri, however, insisted that it was authentic and that she had paid for it through the E-citizen portal.

The legislators also took issue with the illegibility of the documents tabled before the House team, noting that she had intentionally used faint font to give the members a hard time.

But when Galana Energies CEO Anthony Munyasya appeared before the committee, he furnished the committee with documents proving ownership and tabled letters showing that he had been given the green light by the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) to import the oil.

He presented certificates of quality and quantity and origin, vessel manifest and Bill of Lading for KG22/2023.

The CEO explained that they had been nominated as agents for Aramco Trading Fujairah FZE which is one of the three Saudi Arabia oil importers engaged in the government-to-government deal.

KPA Managing Director William Ruto disputed claims by Njeri that the consignment originated from Russia and proved to the committee that it originated from Saudi Arabia by providing the tracking history of the ship in question.

At the same time, Energy CS Davis Chirchir confirmed to the committee that Njeri had not been licensed to import oil and that her company had not signed any agreements such as the Open Tendering System a required by law.

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