UPDATE: Kenya Drops Money Laundering Charges Against Nigerian Financial Tech Tycoons

UPDATE: Kenya Drops Money Laundering Charges Against Nigerian Financial Tech Tycoons

Kenya‘s Asset Recovery Agency (ARA) has dropped lawsuits against two Nigerian Fintech tycoons, Eghosasere Nehikhare and Bukunmi Olufemi Demuren, and another Nigerian after their bank accounts were frozen over suspicion of money laundering and crime.

Brand Spur Nigeria reports that a Kenyan high court lifted a freeze order on KSh 5.6 billion belonging to the three companies after the ARA told the court that the response that the companies gave for holding these funds was satisfactory.

The agency’s probe into the companies started in February of this year when the agency claimed to have gotten information that these companies were engaged in international money laundering. Afterwards, the agency’s investigation revealed that they had received money from multiple locations.

The ARA had applied to a high court to freeze KSh 5.6 billion in six accounts belonging to these companies, accused the three companies of smuggling more than KSh 25 billion into the country from offshore between October and November of last year, and appealed to the court to freeze the remaining funds of KSh 5.6 billion to prevent the companies from transferring or withdrawing them.

Court filings seen by Brand Spur Nigeria show that the Kenyan Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) requested a case withdrawal from the court and the request was granted on September 7.

The court document stated that “THIS MATTER COMING UP before Honourable Lady Justice E.N Maina on September 7 2022 for directions on the Notice of Withdrawal dated August 29, 2022 brought by Counsel for the Applicant Under Section 19 of the Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Act and Order 25 Rule 1 of the Civil Procedure Rules and all other enabling provisions of the law AND UPON READING the supporting affidavit of FREDRICK MUSYOKI and annexures thereof.

It added, “IT IS HEREBY ORDERED: 1. THAT the matter be and is hereby marked as withdrawn. 2. THAT the preservation orders issued in ACEC MISC E014 OF 2022 are discharged accordingly.”

The court order detailing the withdrawal…
The court order detailing the withdrawal…

Earlier, the ARA had revealed these companies are owned by two Nigerians who are backed by a powerful Kenyan politician and two Kenyans.

Avalon Offshore, which was registered in Kenya in November 2020, is owned by two Nigerians: Jeffrey Nnaoma Michaels and Uduma Okoro Christopher Kalu.

OIT Africa, which was registered in Kenya on July 14, 2017, is owned by Vionnah Akoth Odongo and Kenneth Odongo Raminya.

RemX is owned by Nehikhare Eghosasere and Nigerian venture capitalist, Demuren Olufemi Olukunmi.