Court halts lawsuit against Bluebird Aviation Directors

The High Court in Nairobi, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations, a multi-agency team on airports security and several other state investigative agencies on financial matters have found a raft of allegations made by Yusuf Abdi Adan against his co-directors at Bluebird Aviation Limited as being invalid, unsupported and untrue.

Yusuf had filed a suit and made allegations of fraud, tax evasion, and money laundering against three directors and his co-shareholders namely Hussein Ahmed Farah, Hussein Unshur Mohamed and Mohamed Abdikadir Adan.

In the 53 page ruling, Hon Justice Alfred Mabeya, who is the Principal Judge of the Commercial & Tax Division of the High Court, dismissed the suit in its entirety with costs to the defendants bringing an end to the suit that had dragged on since March 2016.

The court in its ruling noted that “in the present case, all that the plaintiff did was to make sweeping allegations without any backing by way of evidence”.

The court findings follow an earlier investigation by the DCI that involved Kenya Revenue Authority, Kenya Civil Aviation Authority, Kenya Airport Authority, The Financial Reporting Centre and the company’s bankers concluded that “generally, it was untenable to investigate some of the allegations because the complainant did not provide the foundation for his allegations adding that his statements did not shine any light on them or provide any empirical evidence on the numerous allegations. He also did not disclose the sources of his information or the basis for making such allegations, and where he made claims, we found those claims farfetched”.

The High Court had previously dismissed an attempt to wind up the company and when the plaintiff appealed, the court of appeal also dismissed his petition with costs to the defendants.

In addition, the ruling also highlighted that the plaintiff had sought that his shares be bought by the remaining members of the company in a letter to the defendants prior to filing an avalanche of lawsuits.

“When he was asked to follow the laid down procedure in the Articles of the Company, he moved the court with a petition to wind up the company. Even in the winding-up petition, the plaintiff sought that he be bought out,” the ruling read in part.

The ruling further noted that Article 9 of the company’s Articles of Association “enables the buying out of shares of any leaving shareholder by the remaining shareholders” and that this was one of many such remedies available to the plaintiff instead of him “dragging the company through litigation which is costly and will affect the company’s operations, reputation and future business.’

The court noted that the plaintiff, Yusuf Abdi Adan, apart from filing complaints with state agencies, has also filed “numerous lawsuits against the company and entities that it has done business with. These include – i) the present case; ii) Milimani High Court Civil Case No. 182 of 2017; iii) Milimani High Court Civil Case No. 197 of 2017; iv) Court of Appeal at Nairobi Civil Appeal No. 262 of 2016; and v) Winding Up Cause No. 7 of 2016.” The allegations regarding these entities were dismissed as being unsubstantiated and unproven.

The judge further asserted that “the suits filed, particularly the winding-up cause, was intended to scare away the company’s customers thereby drastically damage its reputation and success”.

The court further noted that the three defendants- Hussein Ahmed Farah, Hussein Unshur Mohamed and Mohamed Abdikadir Adan- built the company from an initial purchase of one aircraft on credit and flying it until the company was financially stable. “That it was their combined skill, effort, time and capital that led to the growth and success of the company. That from the very beginning, the plaintiff was never involved in the management of the company as he was only approached to buy a share at Ksh 150,000 as a potential permanent customer, as he was in the business of miraa exportation”, the court found that these contentions were not denied or challenged by Yusuf Abdi Adan.

The court in finality also noted that he never made any further contribution thereafter, never actively participated in the affairs of the company for 23 years and if he had been excluded, he never took action on it.

The court hence ruled that he did so willingly.

Yusuf is now faced with a mountain of legal costs involving several law firms that represented the defendants including Oraro & Co. Advocates, Archer & Wilcock Advocates, Sagana Biriq & Co. Advocates, Michael Daud & Co. Advocates and Kemboy & Co. Advocates.

Yusuf was represented by Senior Counsel Ahmednasir Abdullahi. 

  

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