Tatu City Limited and its land holding subsidiary Kofinaf Limited have withdrawn from a vicious court battle pitting the Sh240 billion project’s shareholders against one another, signalling a power shift in the boardroom.
Former Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) governor Nahashon Nyagah and businessman Vimal Shah in February sued the project’s majority shareholders, Stephen Jennings and Christopher Baron, through Tatu City and Kofinaf.
Tatu City and Kofinaf’s withdrawal from the suit has left only the shareholders on the battleground, and hinted at Mr Nyagah and Mr Shah’s loss of influence in the project.
The withdrawal follows a resolution reached at a shareholders meeting of the two firms’ directors in September.
The meeting also resolved to replace lawyer Nelson Havi with Ahmednasir Abdullahi as legal representative of both Tatu City and Kofinaf.
Mr Havi has been accused by the major shareholders of colluding with Mr Nyagah and Mr Shah to rob the development project of land worth billions of shillings.
“Upon reading the notice of withdrawal filed in court, it is hereby ordered that Tatu City and Kofinaf hereby wholly withdraw their claims against all defendants,” the court order reads.
Mr Havi had opposed the withdrawal of Tatu City and Kofinaf from the suit and his replacement by Mr Abdullahi as legal representative.
The battle for control of the project has seen multiple suits filed by both the local and foreign shareholders.
READ: Ex-CBK governor Nyagah faces Tatu City fraud charge
Police have also been involved in the dispute, and had recommended that Mr Nyagah be charged in court for allegedly transferring shares worth over Sh5 billion from companies involved in the project to his close associates.
A report compiled by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations states that Mr Nyagah nominated relatives and members of Covenant Church as shareholders in Purple Saturn, a land holding subsidiary of Tatu City, and used them to fraudulently transfer the shares.
The report says that Mr Shah has been evading interrogation and is yet to record a statement, but has not recommended his prosecution.
Mr Nyagah and his lawyer Mr Havi have, however, obtained court orders barring their arrest in connection with the theft accusations until petitions they filed to stop their prosecution are determined.
The project has managed to take off the ground despite the court wrangles, with investors booking space in Tatu City. Mr Shah’s Bidco Africa Limited has purchased 78 acres in Tatu City, on which it plans to set up some of its factories.
Coffee firm Doormans has bought 10 acres on which it will set up its coffee roasting factory and global headquarters. Tissue maker Kim-Fay has also acquired 10 acres in Tatu City.
The court wrangles have extended to other Tatu City affiliates registered in Mauritius.