National Bank of Kenya (NBK) has been ordered by a court to pay a former Member of Parliament (MP) KSh 2.2 billion.
The former MP, Basil Criticos went to court after the financial institution auctioned his farm 14 years ago, Business Daily reported.
However, after series of court sessions, a bench of three Court of Appeal judges found that the auction of Criticos’ farm was undervalued.
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The court argued that the 15,994.5 acres of land in Taita Taveta County was undervalued since it had buildings, sisal, quarry, and road network on it.
“In the result, subject to what we shall shortly state with regard to the crops, we find the appellant’s valuation report to be solid in content and uncontroverted. It was not to be merely wished away
“And we are on balance persuaded by the appellant’s contention that the suit property was sold at an undervalue,” Justices Roselyn Nambuye, Wanjiru Karanja and Patrick Kiage said.
The land was sold to the Settlement Fund Trustees (SFT) to recover a KSh 20 million loan which was given to a company in which Criticos was a director.
The former lawmaker had acted as a guarantor.
In addition to the compensation, the bank was also directed to pay Criticos KSh 35 million surplus for the sale.
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NBK was also put on the spot over excessive interest rates, declining the former MP’s offers to redeem the debt and selling the property at less than the amount he offered.
The bank sold the land to SFT for KSh 55 million through a private treaty, while the case was pending in court.
NBK had demanded KSh 66.5 million plus 35 percent interest from Agro Development Company where Criticos was a director and shareholder.