MP Otiende Amollo, Ambrose Rachier Fights Development Bank

Advocate Otiende Amolo and lawyer Ambrose Rachier are fighting to stop Development Bank of Kenya from selling family’s 150-acre piece of land in Kajiado over a disputed Sh177 million loan.

Last year, DBK sued Mr Rachier and his four partners at the Rachier & Amollo Advocates- Otiende Amollo, Jotham Arwa, Francis Olalo and Stephen Ligunya.

The four had allegedly refused to settle overdraft facilities. DBK also enjoined Marenyo Limited – a firm owned by Ambrose Rachier and his sons Alvin and John. can authoritatively confirm that the piece of land that risks being auctioned is registered to Marenyo.

According to DBK, the overdrafts were guaranteed by a fixed deposit account held by Rachier & Amollo advocates, alongside a title deed for the 150-acre land.

Development Bank says Marenyo has in court tried to draw attention away from the connection between its directors and Rachier & Amollo Advocates.

It argues that Marenyo director Alvin Samuel Oketch conveniently omitted his surname – Rachier – in affidavits sworn on behalf of the company as part of the plot.

But Marenyo filed an application within Development Bank’s suit, claiming that it did not guarantee the overdraft facilities, hence not liable for any debt claimed by the lender.

Development Bank granted the overdrafts on the strength of letters signed by the law firm’s founder, lawyer Ambrose Rachier.

On their defense, Rachier & Amollo Advocates, says that its contract with DBK only allowed decisions involving its accounts at Development Bank to be made through letters signed by at least two signatories.

The law firm says that its bank account should have a Sh89 million deposit, and not a Sh177 million debt.

It is therefore annoying for the plaintiff to keep presenting to this court letters allegedly signed by Mr Rachier alone, attributing to Rachier & Amollo or to the defendants the communications contained therein purporting to treat the same as lawful instructions given by or on behalf of Rachier & Amollo, or the defendants,” Stephen Ligunya, a partner at the firm says.

DBK cites that the overdrafts date back to 2013. According to the lender, they allegedly received a letter from Rachier, which also requested that the loan be secured by the Kajiado land.

Two years later, Rachier & Amollo’s account at the bank received Sh22.8 million from Kitui County Government’s Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) account. The money was quickly withdrawn in cash.

The CBK then informed Development Bank that the money had been stolen from Kitui County. The lender then relayed the information to Mr Rachier, who allegedly promised to provide evidence that the law firm was entitled to the money. But he did not furnish Development Bank with evidence.

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission obtained court orders freezing Rachier & Amollo’s accounts.

Mr Rachier then asked the bank to activate the overdraft facility and refund the money from Kitui County, to convince the courts and EACC to unfreeze the account and cease investigations.

After bank refunded Kitui County’s money, Rachier & Amollo Advocates’ loan rose to Sh74 million. The law firm argues that the Kitui money was deposited in its account without any request, consent, knowledge or involvement of Rachier & Amollo or any of its partners and that investigations revealed the same.

Additional reporting by the BD.

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