, NAIROBI, Kenya Oct 5 – Businessman Humphrey Kariuki of Dalbit International Limited has won a suit against Standard Group Limited—publishers of the Standard Newspaper, on allegations linking him and his businesses to human, narcotics and weapons trafficking.
In the judgement, Justice Wilfrida Okwany ruled that “the petitioners are entitled to the deletion and correction of any allegations linking them to human, narcotics and weapons trafficking.”
The allegations are contained in the Standard newspaper of 5th February 2017.
Kariuki, who used to operate the then popular Green Corner restaurant in Nairobi, in the early 90’s, had moved to court seeking a declaration that the media house had published false and damaging content linking his businesses to criminal activities.
In his petition, Kariuki defended his business empire, in teh case that was also buyoed by clearance evidence adduced by the National Police Service official Moses Ndidi and a declaration by the South Sudan government that defended Dalbit Petroleum Limited against allegations that it was involved in the crimes of drugs, weapons and human trafficking.
Police chief Moses Ndindi, who chaired an 11-member Special Investigations Team on drug trafficking in Kenya, swore an elaborate replying affidavit stating stated that all the complaints lodged against Kariuki had been found to be untrue and were unsupported by facts, evidence, records or credible information.
In her ruling, Lady Justice Okwany said Kariuki was entitled to the deletion and correction of any allegations linking him to human, narcotics and weapons trafficking as contained in the newspaper and ordered the newspaper to prominently publish an apology and retraction of the report.
“That an order of Mandatory injunction be and is hereby granted to compel the Standard Group Limited to publish a correction of the untrue and misleading information about the petitioners,” the order reads in part.
In suit papers, Kariuki said he had never been involved in any criminal activities as alleged in the newspaper article.
He submitted that the “publication was deliberately intended to permanently injure their reputation including companies associated to them.”
Dalbit deals in large scale petroleum importation and has dealings with government organs and international organizations which, he said, have never been involved in criminal activities.
On Green Corner restaurant, Kariuki accused the publication of tainting its name, by implying that it was a front for drug trafficking.
He defended it as a high-end eatery patronized by the United State embassy staff and other foreign, mission staff, including prominent individuals.