Ecobank officials lose attempt to stop their trial
TWO senior Ecobank officials yesterday lost a second attempt to stop their prosecution. The bid by Wilfred Nyasimi Oroko and Michael Monari came a cropper when their lawyers failed to appear in court to proceed with an application they had filed last week challenging their trial. In a short ruling, Lady Justice Cecilia Githua said the leave they had been granted to challenge the trial had expired. And by
yesterday, they had not filed court papers as directed by the court.
The two were charged two weeks ago with alleged forgeries and were released on a cash bail. Oroko and Monari allegedly procured for the bank, the registration of replacement of change of title deed to a land belonging to Mohamed Habib without his consent. Monari is the bank’s managing director in Uganda while Oroko is the senior group officer in Lome, Togo.
Before they were charged, the two had attempted to stop their arrest and prosecution, saying it was in bad faith. But Justice Mohamed Warsame dismissed the case saying they can give their side of their story in the trial. The complaint against the managers was lodged by businessman Mohamed Abubakar, who says forged the charge and registration of a title of a Nairobi hotel known as Downtown belonging to his family.
The title had been charged to the bank, formerly known as Akiba Bank after Abubakar’s father- Mohamed Habib borrowed a loan of Sh7.5 million from the bank. By the time he died in 2007, he had repaid Sh6.5 million but the bank was still claiming Sh105 million. The hotel was later sold to a third party and Abubakar ordered to pay monthly rent but Abubakar obtained orders to stay at the hotel pending appeal.
It is Abubakar contention that the two signed the charge as directors of the bank whereas they were not and that the charge was a clear forgery as Habib died in June 17, 2007 but the charge was signed and executed in December 31, 2008. The prosecutor told the court that he will be calling at least 20 witnesses in the case that will be heard for five consecutive days beginning August 20.