Tatu City Ltd and Kofinaf Ltd on Wednesday applied to the Court of Appeal to withdraw from all civil suits that were filed by a lawyer who had been prohibited from acting on their behalf.
The pair accused Mr Nelson Havi of colluding with the chairman, Mr Nahashon Nyagah, to lodge the cases after the board of directors had withdrawn the brief from him.
Senior counsel Ahmednasir Abdullahi told a three-Judge bench on Wednesday that Mr Havi had a “long troubling relationship” with the two companies and was being investigated by the police over fraudulent transfer of Sh5.5 billion shares to Mr Nyagah’s cronies and associates.
“The tragedy in this case is that the companies have lodged criminal and civil complaints against Mr Havi. He cannot now purport to represent the companies. This is unprofessional conduct by an advocate,” Mr Abdullahi told the appellate bench.
However, Mr Havi, through his lawyer, retired judge Otieno Kwach, said he had been “ambushed” by the application for withdrawal of Tatu City Ltd and Kofinaf Ltd, on the basis that he had no formal instructions to act for the firms.
Last week, the two firms got orders to withdraw from all cases to enable them to proceed with the development of the Sh240 billion city project.
Mr Abdullahi said once the High Court had excluded the two firms from the civil suits, there was no basis for a reversal to be entertained in their name at the Court of Appeal.
The aggrieved local partners, led by Mr Nyagah and industrialist Vimal Shah, have opposed the move by the foreign investors to pull out of the civil suits, on the basis that the four-year legal wrangles cannot be resolved without the participation of the parent companies.