Trader accuses fiancée of fraud in row over ‘The Yard’ club on Kiambu Road
On September 8, Mr Daniel Kimani Kariuki left his Fourways Junction home on Kiambu Road to meet his future in-laws and plan for bride price negotiations.
The majority owner of Ridgeways Inn – The Yard, was taken aback by his in-laws digressing into how much wealth he had and how it was apportioned between him and his fiancée, their daughter Sylviah Wambui Karanja.
Even before he left the meeting a dejected man, Ms Karanja sent him a message not go to the inn, the business he co-owned with her and his niece Ruth Wanjiru Maigua on a 60:20:20 basis.
The previous day, Ms Karanja had raised issues about The Yard’s finances but Mr Kariuki did not make much of it, only asking why she was raising the issue since the club made about Sh18 million a month.
In court papers, Mr Kariuki says it did not dawn on him what prompted the sudden turn of events until he went back home and found that Ms Karanja had packed her bags and left.
Now, the businessman has sued his ex-fiancée for forging documents to take control of the establishment just days before the traditional dowry payment ceremony.
Mr Kariuki claims Ms Karanja forged share transfer documents and minutes of a board of directors meeting with a resolution that her partners resigned from their positions before selling their stake in The Yard to her.
They have enjoined a firm Ms Karanja incorporated, The Ridgeways Yard Company, in the suit.
Mr Kariuki says he, Ms Maigua and Ms Karanja incorporated Bebadis Ltd in October 2015 and used it to set up the night club and other businesses.
Companies Registry records attached as evidence indicate that Mr Kariuki held 30 shares at incorporation, while Ms Karanja and his niece had 10 shares each.
On September 4, Ms Karanja submitted documents and minutes of a meeting held six days earlier, which indicated that Mr Kariuki and Ms Maigua had resigned and transferred their shares to her.
Mr Kariuki and Ms Maigua have denied attending any board meeting on August 29.
Ms Maigua says she is a flight engineer with African Express, and was on duty in Mogadishu on the day she reportedly attended the meeting in Nairobi.
She has attached, as evidence, a trip schedule showing she was in the Somali capital.
Ms Karanja and Ridgeways object to being enjoined in the suit, arguing that Mr Kariuki is no longer a director of Bebadis and cannot list it as a plaintiff.
“Bebadis Company Ltd is wrongly enjoined as a plaintiff. Bebadis, whose sole director is Ms Karanja, has not resolved to commence civil proceedings and has not authorised Mr Kariuki and Ms Maigua to do so on its behalf,” the two defendants say through Nchogu, Omwanza and Nyasimi Advocates.
SIGNATURES WERE FORGED
Mr Paul Njihia Njoroge, a lawyer whose stamp and signatures appear on share transfer documents presented by Ms Karanja, has filed an affidavit saying his signature and stamp were forged, and that he does not know any of the club directors.
He said the stamp indicated that he was a notary public and that he had an office in Nairobi, all misrepresentations.
“Having looked at the signature and stamp purportedly appended by myself in witnessing the said transactions, I observed that both are forgeries,” Mr Njoroge said.
Director of Criminal Investigations chief George Kinoti has directed that truth be established regarding the transactions.
Police arrested Ms Karanja in Kinangop, Nyandarua County where her parents live, and detained her at Engineer station.
M-PESA WIPED CLEAN
Mr Kariuki said after finding his fiancée gone, he logged into the club’s accounts and found The Yard’s M-Pesa paybill account had been wiped clean.
Mr Kariuki withdrew Sh350,000 from The Yard’s Equity Bank account and a few hours later, Ms Karanja resurfaced at the Fourways Junction home, furious about the withdrawal, the court was told.
He said Ms Karanja broke his laptop and hired a gang to kick him out of The Yard.
Days later, he was arrested for reportedly stealing Sh990,000 from The Yard’s bank accounts and detained at Muthaiga police station.