, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 31 – The High Court has allowed former Kenya Seed Company Managing Director Nathaniel Tum to challenge the move by Inspector General of State Corporations to surcharge him Sh21 million.
Lady Justice Roselyn Wendoh suspended the decision by the Inspector General for 45 days and allowed Mr Tum to file judicial review proceedings to quash the directive.
Justice Wendoh issued the directive saying Mr Tum through lawyer C.K. Yano had disclosed that he has an arguable case.
He was given 14 days to file and serve the Inspector General with the judicial review proceedings. The matter will be mentioned after service is effected for purposes of giving further directions.
The adverse decision was contained in a letter dated February 23 this year and is surcharging the former Kenya Seed MD for the loss of the amount at the Corporation for authorising irregular payments to M/s SOET(k) Ltd.
Mr Tum wants the Inspector General Peter Ondieki prohibited from enforcing the surcharge orders issued under section 19 and 24 of the State Corporations Act claiming it is illegal.
The Inspector General has given Mr Tum 30 days to pay the amount or appeal against the order to the State Corporations Appeals Tribunal.
He is aggrieved by the decision and claims that Mr Ondiek has no power and authority under the State Corporations Act to surcharge him, as he was a former employee of a State Corporation.
The plaintiff also argues that the move to surcharge him is time barred under the Limitations of Actions Act, and unenforceable as the legal pre-requisites for the exercise of such powers have not been complied with.
Mr Tum also claims that the decision to surcharge him was irregularly arrived at and is contrary to the rules of natural justice as no investigations or inspections by the respondent were carried out.
“The decision made against my client is unlawful as the order was made without jurisdiction and is an abuse of power under the State Corporations Act. It is based on unreasonable considerations and is being excised illegally,” he told the court.