Trader bid to take suit to Supreme Court flops

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Trader bid to take suit to Supreme Court flops


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The Supreme Court Of Kenya Building. PHOTO | FILE

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Summary

  • The Court of Appeal has rejected a plea by a trader to move to the Supreme Court over a multi-million shilling contract for the supply of school equipment and laboratory chemicals, which was quashed over a decade ago.
  • A bench of three judges said the intended appeal by Vulcan Lab Equipment Ltd did not have a bearing on public interest or matters of public importance, for the Supreme Court to handle it.

The Court of Appeal has rejected a plea by a trader to move to the Supreme Court over a multi-million shilling contract for the supply of school equipment and laboratory chemicals, which was quashed over a decade ago.

A bench of three judges said the intended appeal by Vulcan Lab Equipment Ltd did not have a bearing on public interest or matters of public importance, for the Supreme Court to handle it.

“It is, therefore, our humble view that the applicant is undertaking an obvious attempt to re-litigate what was lost in the High Court and this court.

“That is not what the noble constitutional provisions of Article 163 (4) was intended to address or resolve.

“We decline the camouflaged attempt to have a third bite in the cherry,” Justices Mohammed Warsame, Asike Makhandia and Sankale ole Kantai ruled.

The company was involved in a multi-million tender in 2009 for the supply of science equipment to selected secondary schools across the country through the School Equipment Production Unit (SEPU).

The company had already been paid Sh75 million before Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) obtained orders freezing the firm’s accounts, citing fraud in the tender.

Vulcan later moved to the High Court and in December 2017, Justice Hedwig Ong’udi faulted the commission for freezing the payments and awarded the company Sh94.2 million for work done and Sh50 million for damages.

The commission successfully appealed the award as the Court of Appeal termed the contract illegal and a blatant distortion and violation of the procurement laws.

The EACC challenged the deal, saying SEPU in collusion with Vulcan had misappropriated public funds by breaching procurement laws. The EACC said a corrupt scheme was hatched and executed in two days in mid-July 2009.

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