Court Rejects Access to Bank Accounts for Lavington Steak House Co-owned by Alfred Mutua

January 26, 2024

The High Court has rejected an application for a restaurant linked to Tourism Cabinet Secretary Alfred Mutua to access three bank accounts for operational purposes.

In September 2023, the court issued orders preventing CS Mutua and another co-director, Emily Chebet Loroupe, from withdrawing, transferring, depositing, or otherwise dealing with the funds held in three bank accounts owned by Brazilian Rodizio Limited, situated in Lavington, Nairobi County.

However, the 4.4 Star-rated Steak House applied to gain access to funds held in its three bank accounts, contending that without the funds in these accounts, it would face significant challenges in sustaining its business operations starting from January 2024.

Additionally, the restaurant emphasized the need to cover various expenses, including operational costs, salaries, statutory deductions, rent, utilities, and business premises insurance, from February 2024 onwards.

“The 3rd Defendant is the most affected by the ex-parte orders issued on September 15, 2023, restraining it or any of the other Defendants from withdrawing, transferring, disposing of and/ or dealing whatsoever with the money held in ***** (three bank accounts) because if it cannot access and withdraw the funds, then it cannot manage and operate its’ business functions including meeting its’ expenses and statutory requirements,” Court papers read in part.

British Investor Sues CS Mutua for Sh60 Million

In the case, Ubhi Ripthuman Sighn accuses Alfred Mutua and Emily of mismanagement and sidelining him from decision-making. He contends that he has learned reliably that numerous dealings and transactions have taken place without his approval as a co-director.

Represented by lawyer Phillip Nyachoti, Sighn asserts that he has repeatedly requested copies of various company documents related to the financial year 2022/2023 but has been consistently ignored.

In his petition before the Hgh Court, the British investor wants Alfred Mutua compelled to pay him Sh60 million for an alleged purchase of his shares in the Brazilian Rodizio.

Mr. Singh stated that Dr. Mutua bought 15 shares on October 6, 2022, but has not yet made the payment for the stake. According to the Briton, the funds were supposed to be deposited in a joint escrow account within 30 days after acquiring the shares.

Singh mentioned that on June 28, 2023, he sent a letter to Dr. Mutua demanding payment of Sh60 million.

“Consequently, the applicant has opted to institute civil proceedings for specific performance against the 1st respondent (Dr Mutua) who is now registered as a director and majority shareholder of the company,” Singh said in his petition last year.

Court Evidence

Evidence presented in court indicates that Singh acquired a 30 percent stake from Ms. Loroupe in March 2021 for Sh30 million. Subsequently, he sold 15 shares to Dr. Mutua, making him the business’s majority shareholder.

The businessman alleged that he discovered numerous dealings and transactions in two bank accounts at NCBA, registered in the company’s name, which he neither approved as a co-director nor authorized as a signatory of the company.

According to court documents, he has repeatedly requested copies of various company documents for the 2022/23 financial year. However, his requests have purportedly been ignored, despite his entitlement to receive such documents.

“In the circumstances, it has therefore become absolutely necessary and urgent to seek this court’s intervention in order to protect the applicant from being subjected to further prejudice by the respondents, pending the hearing and determination of the application herein inter-partes as well as the main suit,” Singh petitioned the court.

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