Nairobi lawyer Ahmednasir Abdullahi now wants the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission to probe decisions made by Central Bank of Kenya Governor Patrick Njoroge over the last 18 months in the absence of a full board of directors.
In a letter to EACC Secretary Halakhe Wako, Ahmednasir, who is suing on behalf of the Nairobi Law Monthly, claims the governor has been running CBK as a one-man show and has spent, incurred expenses and created liability for the apex bank without due authority or supervision by the Board of Directors as mandatorily required by law.
Njoroge and CBK chairman Mohammed Nyaoga were appointed on June 15 last year but President Uhuru Kenyatta failed to name the five other board members. Their appointment was only gazzetted Tuesday in a special Kenya Gazzette notice.
They are Ravi Ruparel, Nelius Kariuki, Charity Selina Kisotu, Rachel Bessie Dzombo and Samson Cherutich. The terms of Ruparel, Kamau and Kisotu commenced on November 4 while the latter two will assume office next Monday.
Now, the Nairobi Law Monthly, which is owned by the senior counsel, contends that the governor has been acting contrary to Section 13 (2) (1) of the Central Bank of Kenya Act, which provides that he can only exercise powers of managing the bank subject to general policy decisions of the board and that he shall have authority to incur expenditure for the bank within administrative budget approved by the board.
“It is our client’s instructions that Dr. Njoroge has been running the Bank like personal property and has been incurring huge capital expenditure without any Board appraisal, approval, authority or supervision. He has in the process abused his office and usurped the powers of the board and acted in flagrant breach of the law,” Ahmednasir says, adding that the money spent runs into billions of shillings.
He adds that the magazine, which, he says has been at the forefront in fighting for accountable, is determined and resolute in pushing for the governor’s probe, terming their petition as a litmus test for EACC to prove that it is not a “lapdog, appendage of the executive” that only investigates corruption selectively.
The petition to EACC, which was dispatched before the names of the five CBK Board members were gazzetted, comes hot on the heels of another threat by Ahmednasir to sue the governor if he does not provide a clear framework of when large depositors of Imperial Bank Ltd (In Receivership) will get their money.
The decision to put the bank in receivership, alongside Chase Bank Ltd, are some of the controversial decisions that Njoroge has made since his appointment. Imperial Bank shareholders are still in court to challenge the manner CBK has handled the matter.
In the notice by Ahmednasir to CBK and Dr Njoroge, the depositors want the bank to admit liability and provide firm dates on when their claims will be settled.