The High Court has dismissed a case filed by four Cytonn Investment executives seeking to stop their prosecution for allegedly stealing about Sh 1.1 Billion from Britam in 2014.
Britam had lodged a number of criminal cases against the four former employees; Elizabeth Nkukuu, Shiv Arora, Patricia Wanjama & Edwin Dande, who resigned from the company in 2014 to form their own company, Cytonn Investments. Britam claims the four had resigned in a calculated move showing their intention to go and enjoy the loot acquired. The four then moved to court arguing that their former employer was harassing them for founding a competing firm.
Justice Mativo on Tuesday ruled that the four had failed to prove that the charges by the DPP against them were out of bad blood.
“It is clear that the investigations were commenced after a complaint was lodges and the trial was commenced with a factual basis after DPP independently evaluated the evidence. I find nothing in this case to suggest that the DPP did not carefully analyse the evidence or acted carelessly or abused his power…. Accordingly, I hereby dismiss the applicants notice of motion dated February 3, 2017 with no orders as to costs and direct that Nairobi chief magistrates criminal case number 1735 of 2016 proceeds to hearing and determination.” the judge ordered.
Britam is seeking to recover the cash from the individual defendants. The defendants have long maintained their innocence, but the Judge said that the former Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Keriako Tobiko arrived at the decision to charge the individuals after looking at the evidence brought to him independently and hence no issues of malice had been detected.
Britam & Acorn out of court settlement
In 2015, Britam and Acorn agreed an out-of-court settlement in which the former agreed to withdraw the case it had filed against latter. Under the terms of the deal, Acorn agreed to return Sh5 billion in cash and land that had been purchased with funds that had been irregularly transferred to the firm by Cytonn founders.
At the time, Britam did not however indicate a settlement between the four former employees but maintained that it would still pursue the case against Dande and his partners.