A Court in Nairobi yesterday declined to block businessman Nginyo Kariuki’s family from operating several bank accounts relating to his companies.
Justice Mary Kasango in her ruling yesterday in favour of the family of the former The National Alliance (TNA) chairman said she should not give the orders by his aggrieved daughter Brenda Nyambura, instead, she allocated October 21 as the day to hear objections raised by the banks and other family members.
“I decline to issue any order sought by the plaintiff. The preliminary objection dated September 15, 2020 shall be heard on September 21,” the judge ruled.
While escalating her onslaught in a succession battle, Nyambura who is a lawyer, filed a case before a commercial court against I&M Bank,Co-operative bank and Consolidated Bank and dragged in wife Margaret Wangari Nginyo and her six children claiming that they were interfering with the deceased’s estate.
Yesterday, lawyer Chacha Odera, a lawyer of three Ngonyo’s children informed the court that Nyambura’s commercial case had also been handled by Justice Margaret Muigai and who declined to issue the orders she was seeking.
He also told the court the companies were not party to the case and no orders should be made against them.
Nyambura’s lawyers, Murage, Juma & Company Advocates claimed that banks were allowing her siblings to withdraw money and carry out construction which the deceased left incomplete.
However the banks opposed the case saying she was a stranger to them so are the other Nginyo’s kin as the accounts held with them belonged to limited liability companies and which she is not a director in.
“The applicant has no locus to file the case. The bank does not see any relationship between her and the accounts she wants conservatory orders on,” explained I&M Bank’s lawyer Preston Wawire.
Co-operative bank through its lawyer Sarah Okimaru urged the court to dismiss the case against, saying that Nyambura is a stranger to it. The lawyer added that the bank does not have any account belonging to the Nginyo family.
“We do not have any accounts relating to the Nginyo family. The plaintiff is a stranger to us,” Okimaru argued.
The succession war between Nyambura and the larger Nginyo family started immediately the patriarch died. She filed a civil case before the court, seeking among other things that he should not be buried, a DNA be extracted to verify that she was his daughter, be recognized as such and she be allowed to attend his burial.
On March 2, 2020, before Justice Jaden Thuranira, the family filed a consent that a DNA be extracted from the deceased by a registered pathologist and results be submitted within 30 days. It was also agreed that she be allowed to participate in the burial.
The judge noted that the larger family had offered to carry out the DNA test even before the suit was filed and she was welcome to attend the burial.
The DNA confirmed she was Nginyo’s daughter.
The second limb of her wars was on the will. Once the family sought a grant in order to continue running the estate, she objected claiming that the will by the deceased was forged and that the deceased could not have forgotten that she a daughter.
According to her lawyers, the late politician had allegedly played a large a role in her life, allowed her to run his errands including in companies he owned thus could not have left her out of the will.
She also roped in two other sons of the deceased Alex Ndoria Karuri and Austin Wachira Karungo in her quest to invalidate the deceased’s last wishes.
It however emerges that although Nyambura, Ndoria and Wachira were not in the deceased’s will, the family had added them as the deceased’s children in the probate case filed before the family Court in Milimani.
The normal arrangement in matters of this nature, the family should sit and agree on what they would share.
Consolidated bank’s lawyer, a Mr.Muraguri, yesterday informed the commercial court that Nyambura is actually a beneficiary of the estate adding that the commercial court has no powers to hear the case.
“We challenge the jurisdiction of the court, she is a beneficiary of the estate and that is an issue of the family court. We have no accounts of the plaintiff with us,” Muraguri argued.
Nyambura's lawyers were asked whether the case filed was similar to the one before the family court and their reply was that her contention was about the companies and not succession. The lawyers claimed that there were orders by Justice George Dulu barring the other family members from interfering with the estate of the deceased.
“Why don’t you go there?” Justice Kasango asked referring to the court which issued the orders.
The lawyers insisted that the intention was not to freeze the bank account but to suspend instructions regarding to the companies. " Our client is the daughter of the majority shareholder. Our contention is that the respondents are likely not to refund amounts of money drawn in the event they are ordered to," the judge heard.
Nginyo founded TNA, a party which gave President Uhuru Kenyatta a ticket to power in 2013. He was born in 1938 in Githima in Ndumberi sub-location, Kiambu.