Nyama Mama restaurant owner freed on Sh450,000 bond

nyama mama Nina Shanghavi Jayesh

Nyama Mama restaurant director Nina Jayesh Shanghavi at a Nairobi court on December 21, 2021

Photo credit: Dennis Onsongo | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • The court had on Tuesday ordered Nina to be detained at the Langata Women's Prison.
  • The accused denied the charges of conspiring to defraud Victoria Commercial Bank Limited Sh520million.

A lender and hotelier embroiled in a Sh520million bank fraud have been advised to settle the matter out of court.

Senior Principal Magistrate Wandia Nyamu, who released the ailing Nina Shanghavi Jayesh on a cash bail of Sh450,000, encouraged her to invoke alternative dispute resolution in the criminal matter.

Nina and her husband Jayesh Shanghavi have been charged jointly with conspiring to defraud Victoria Commercial Bank Limited (VCB) Sh520million.

The couple own various restaurants, bars and shopping malls in Nairobi.

While releasing Mrs Jayesh on bond, Ms Nyamu said the dispute is of civil nature as it arises from a commercial transaction.

“I encourage the parties herein to resolve this matter out of court,” Ms Nyamu stated.

Defence lawyers Charles Njenga and Alex Maloba and the prosecutor all agreed the case stems from a commercial transaction.

Mr Njenga sought the magistrate’s intervention to settle the dispute out of court. 

Jay and Ninaa Shanghavi, Founders Good Earth Group.

Photo credit: Courtesy

Nina who was brought to court by a hospital attendant had an Oxygen Cylinder fitted on her wheel chair to aid her breathing.

Ms Nyamu had on Tuesday ordered Nina to be detained at the Langata Women's Prison pending determination whether the accused would be freed on bond.

Nina denied defrauding Victoria Commercial Bank over Sh520,000,000 through an alleged fraudulent loan deal.

Defence lawyer Charles Njenga applied for her release on bond on health grounds.

Pronouncing the bond terms, Ms Nyamu directed the accused to deposit her travel documents in court.

She also directed the accused never to leave the court’s jurisdiction without permission. 

The prosecution had opposed the bail application, saying the accused had breached the previous court orders requiring her to appear for plea taking two weeks ago.

"The accused person has demonstrated that she has no respect for the court. She turned up in court because she knows there is a warrant of arrest in-force,” the prosecution said.

Mr Njenga urged the magistrate to lift the warrant of arrest but the plea was opposed by the prosecutor saying no tangible evidence had been availed to explain why the accused could not attend court.

The court heard that the accused persons approached the bank to execute a first legal charge over Crystal Edge Apartment Number B2 erected on Land in Nairobi to secure Sh520,000,000.

They claimed the apartment was a valuable security.

They allegedly committed the offence on varied dates between December 10, 2018 and November 2020 in Nairobi.

Jayesh and Nina are both directors of Good Earth Group Limited which entered into an agreement with the bank and began borrowing loans from the bank since 2015 to November 2020. The couple's other business ventures include Mr Yao, Blue Door Bar and Nyama Mama Restaurants.

Among other securities availed to Victoria Commercial Bank was of varied types and value including properties owned by their company, bank deposits from their foreign accounts among others.

The accused paid the cash bail left Langata Prison. The case will be mentioned in two weeks' time for pre-trial directions. 

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