A judge has declined to gag the media from highlighting proceedings in a case linking NIC bank to embezzlement of millions of shillings the public lost in mega lottery fraud.
Former Kisumu East Mp Kennedy Nyangudi, a charity Lion’s Heart Self Help Group, sued NIC bank and Amaya Gaming group, and the new request, is yet to delay the case further after the bank sprung up in vain.
Nyagudi and Lion’s Heart has sued Amaya’s to recover over KSh100 million it claims was embezzled by the gaming firm’s officials, David Baazov, Daniel Sebag and Benjamin Ahdoot with the help of NIC.
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Amaya latched its operations in Kenya in 2010 with the M-Lotto sweepstakes and later introduced the Kwachu 6/48 Lotto.
Lawyer Allen Gichuhi had applied for what he called a “super-injunction” to gaga the media from highlighting the proceedings in the case, a proposal vehemently objected to by lawyers Eddy Orinda and Andrew Ombwayo.
Gichuhi said Nyangudi had resorted to blackmailing the bank and wanted a restraint order against the media from publishing further proceedings.
It appeared to be a side-show as what had been listed for hearing was a separate application the bank had filed against orders compelling it to disclose how the accounts where the money was siphoned out of the country were opened without Nyangudi’s knowledge.
Orinda told the trial court that the new application had been served hours to the scheduled hearing and thus needed time to respond to it.
“By its very nature the prayer is veiled to stop the plaintiff(Nyangudi) from being heard,” Ombwayo said.
Amaya’s founder, Baazov, is also fighting fraud charges in Canada.
The trial court heard that NIC bank has failed to comply with orders of discovery after illegal activity was unearthed at the financial institution.
Nyagudi claims Baazov secretly opened 11 bank accounts at NIC, which were used to channel money earned from Amaya’s operations out of the country.
“NIC Bank received the funds from the lotteries through deposits, kept the funds safely in their custody and thereafter aided Amaya to disappear from the country by transferring the funds out of the country when their fraudulent conning scheme was discovered having defrauded unsuspecting Kenyans of hundreds of millions of shillings,” court papers read.
NIC, the court heard has declined to obey a court order issued by Justice Rachael Ngetich, that required it comes clean on the documentation used in opening of the controversial accounts.
Nyagudi holds that only he and Baazov are listed as directors of Amaya Gaming Group Kenya hence only the two of them had authority to open bank accounts.
“The intent is to obstruct justice…” Orinda said, referring to the successive applications that the bank has riddled the case with seeking “stay” since October 10 2011.
NIC is faulted for opening Amaya bank accounts without Nyagudi’s consent.The former legislator filed the suit against the bank in October 2017, claiming that the financial institution has withheld information over transaction with Amaya Gaming Group where he his a director and subsequently opening of several bank accounts with the company without his knowledge
There are contempt of court proceedings in the offing against the banks executives for failing to provide more documents related to the disputed accounts.