John Ngumi obtains court order blocking arrest

Eagle Africa Capital Partners executive director John Ngumi before the joint sitting of the National Assembly committees

Eagle Africa Capital Partners executive director John Ngumi before the joint sitting of the National Assembly committees investigating the acquisition of Telkom Kenya at County Hall in Nairobi on April 19, 2023.

Photo credit: Dennis Onsongo | Nation Media Group

The High Court has barred the anti-corruption body from arresting or detaining investment banker John Ngumi.

Mr Ngumi had rushed to court on the grounds that the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) was investigating him for the alleged theft of Sh6 billion.

He told the court that he was under active threat of arrest and prosecution, which would jeopardise his reputation as one of Kenya's most celebrated bankers.

“Pending the hearing and determination of this application, the respondents, their servants, agents, including law enforcement, are restrained from arresting, detaining or harassing the applicant,” High Court judge Diana Kavedza said.

The judge directed the banker to sign a personal bond of Sh500,000 and also appear before EACC, accompanied by his lawyer, as soon as possible for questioning.

“The applicant shall cooperate with the officers during the period of investigations,” the judge said.

He has also named Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji in the court documents.

Mr Ngumi said in an affidavit filed in court that the investigations into the alleged theft are targeting persons perceived to be close to former president Uhuru Kenyatta, including himself.

He has further said there has been a sustained malicious media campaign profiling him to create public outrage against him.

“Having carefully analysed application, the supporting affidavit and the annextures thereto, I am satisfied that the application has established a case for anticipatory bail pending arrest,” the judge said.

She directed the case to be heard on May 23.

Parliament’s Finance and National Planning Committee and the Communication, Innovation, and Information Committee are investigating the acquisition of Telkom Kenya.

Mr Ngumi appeared before the committees to explain his role in advising the government on the acquisition.

The government paid Sh6.2 billion without the approval of the National Assembly to Helios Investors LLP through Jamhuri Holdings Ltd, its Special Purpose Vehicle, in August last year.

The investment banker was paid $3.07 million by Jamhuri Holdings — a Mauritius-based firm for Helios’ shareholding in Telkom Kenya — for advising the PE fund on its exit from the telecoms operator.