Nairobi businessman risks losing 5 billion shillings at 14 Riverside Drive after Supreme Court ruling
NAIROBI, Kenya October 12 – A city businessman risks losing a multibillion-dollar property at 14 Riverside Drive in Nairobi if he doesn’t pay a 5 billion shillings creditor.
The Supreme Court ruled last week that it cannot interfere with the Court of Appeals ruling in which Cape Holdings Limited was ordered to pay the money to Synergy Industrial Credit Limited.
The Supreme Court bench of Chief Justice Martha Koome alongside Justices Mohammed Ibrahim, Smokin Wanjala, Njoki Ndungu and Isaac Lenaola said they had no jurisdiction in the matter.
“The Supreme Court does not have jurisdiction to hear appeals emanating from arbitration and which have been finally decided by the Court of Appeal. The appeal before us is therefore unfounded and is dismissed, ”they said.
The legal battle has been going on for 10 years between Cape Holdings Ltd and Synergy Industrial Credit Ltd over the 14 Riverside Drive properties that house the Dusit D2 hotel, residential apartments and several office buildings.
Their decision marked the latest hurdle in the 10-year fight between Cape Holdings Ltd and Synergy Industrial Credit Ltd over the 14 properties on Riverside Drive which include the Dusit D2 hotel, residential apartments and several upscale office buildings.
The listed owners of Cape Holdings Ltd are Vinay Sanghrajka, while Synergy Industrial Credit Ltd is owned by businessman Vipul Shah.
Their dispute dates back to 2011, when Synergy Industrial Credit Ltd struck a deal with Cape Holdings Ltd to purchase 14 apartment blocks the developer was building at 14 Riverside Drive.
According to the lawsuit, the company claimed to have paid an advance of 750 million shillings for the office buildings while they were still under construction, but accused Cape Holdings of refusing to transfer the units.
Arbitrator lawyer Ochieng Oduol established in 2015 that the developer had violated the terms of the contract by not transferring ownership and ordered Cape Holdings to repay the principal amount and interest amounting to 1.7 billion shillings.
This included prepayments, loss of interest charges, opportunity cost, and loss of exchange rate fluctuation for foreign currencies and goodwill.
But Cape Holdings immediately filed a complaint with the High Court to overturn the arbitrator’s decision.
And in 2019, Synergy Industrial Credit took the appeal to the Court of Appeal, which overturned the High Court’s decision and restored the arbitral award.
The developer was ordered at the time to pay all accrued interest and reinstated the arbitration award.