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Triton files suit to stop Kenya Commercial Bank from auction

NEWS
By John Muthoni | December 18th 2013
By John Muthoni | December 18th 2013
NEWS

By John Muthoni

Kenya: A leading bank will have to prove to the High Court that their bid to sell properties owned by Triton Services Limited to recover its money is legitimate.

Before Justice Jaqueline Kamau, Triton moved to court seeking to bar Kenya Commercial Bank from selling its properties in various parts of the country, saying the bank is seeking to deprive it of its entire assets based on an impugned deed of settlement that they had entered on March 2009.

In the case where Eastern and Southern African Trade Development Bank is the second respondent, the oil services company wants KCB barred from selling four of its properties in Nakuru, two in Eldoret, four in Naivasha, one undeveloped plot in Kitale and three undeveloped plots in Nairobi.

The company had pledged the assets to secure a loan of more than $25 million dollars (Sh2.15 billion) emanating from financial facilities granted to Triton Petroleum Company which is now under receivership.

Triton’s lawyer Issa Ibrahim told the court that the deed had been executed by three directors – Yaghnesh Devani, Suni Somaia and Mahendra Patnac even though they had not been given a lee way by the board of directors to do so.

 “The board of directors did not authorise the plaintiff’s companies to pledge their assets as security,” he said.

Tainted deed

She told the court that Triton Gas Stations had two shareholders, in which Triton Petroleum Limited owned one segment and Devani the other.

Moreover, Issa said the deed was tainted with fraud and that it was entered when Mahendra and Somaia were not directors at the company.

“Mahendra and Somaia at the time of execution were not directors and therefore could not represent the plaintiff’s companies,” she said.

The Bank’s counsel Paul Ogunda told the court that the issue of the validity of the deed had been raised in a Mombasa court and had been struck out. He accused Triton of abusing the court process, saying the plaintiff had sought similar orders to bar KCB from disposing off two service stations in Mombasa to recover its debts.

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