A vicious property dispute between Meru Senator Mithika Linturi and his stepson Arnold Kipkirui has turned into an all-out family feud following the inclusion of the politician’s estranged wife Maryanne Kitany.
The High Court on Monday allowed the senator’s request to have Ms Kitany enjoined in the case, where her son has accused the legislator of fraud.
The court said Mr Linturi’s application was merited since Ms Kitany was the chief executive of a company known as Atticon Limited, which he allegedly used to borrow Sh7 million from Family Bank.
Mr Kipkirui claims that in 2015, Mr Linturi used a title deed for their land in Meru and assets as security for the loan. The property hosts the senator’s office.
“I have perused the record, I have not seen her name offered as a witness for any of the parties. It is alleged that she has evidence that can help the court completely adjudicate the case,” said Justice Alfred Mabeya.
The property tussle pits Mr Kipkirui against Mr Linturi, Atticon Ltd, Brenda Mithika, Emily Nkirote Buantai, Family Bank, the land registrar in Meru, Linkit Limited and the registrar of companies. Other plaintiffs include Barons Estate Limited and Noniko Holdings Limited.
The dispute stemmed from the ugly divorce proceedings between Mr Linturi and Ms Kitany. Mr Linturi, Ms Buantai, Ms Mithika and Linkit Ltd told the court that Ms Kitany is a crucial party in the case.
As the CEO, she allegedly discovered a series of unauthorised withdrawals of colossal amounts of money from Atticon’s bank accounts.
The court heard that Ms Kitany also reported the discoveries to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) for probe and recorded a statement to that effect.
Her report to the DCI resulted in criminal proceedings being contemplated against Mr Linturi over alleged fraud and forgery of documents in relation to the loan, securities and changes in ownership of Atticon Ltd.
The court heard that Ms Kitany was actively involved in one of the companies when the irregularities took place. Further that the same were either sanctioned, overseen or authorised by her.
Ms Kitany and her son had opposed the application, saying she has no personal stake, legal interest or duty in the case as to necessitate her joinder. She averred that she has never been a shareholder nor director of Atticon Ltd.
Mr Kipkirui said the applicants had not demonstrated any identifiable stake that Ms Kitany had in the consolidated suit, which has four cases.
But Justice Mabeya said there was proof Ms Kitany was the CEO of Atticon since she had stated the same in another case filed at a magistrate’s court. She stated that she had been appointed as Atticon CEO by its directors.
That at her position, she discovered unauthorised withdrawals of huge amounts of money from the company’s bank accounts, which led her to report the matter to the DCI.
“Although Ms Kitany denied these allegations, a fact stated on oath cannot be denied. When denied, it reflects negatively on a party. It may be that she may have evidence that can assist the court unravel the dispute,” said the judge.
Without her participation in the case, the judge said the court may miss an important opportunity of having a necessary person with crucial information to assist in the determination of the matter.