Businessman Jimmy Wanjigi has appealed a decision by the High Court to pay a luxury men’s clothing store Sh1.37 million.
Wanjigi who is might vie for the presidency come 2022 on an ODM Party ticket is accused of refusing to pay Fazal – The Luxury Boutique, for two Brioni Jackets and six Ermenegildo Zegna trousers supplied to him on credit in 2019.
On January 22 this year, Milimani principal magistrate D.M Kivuti ruled that the tycoon should settle the debt.
Wanjigi, however, declined to honour the decision forcing Ravello, Fazal’s parent company, to file an application for auction of his items.
Ravello said that they on multiple occasions tried to reach out to Wanjigi via WhatsApp but their efforts proved futile.
“Hi Jimmi, can I come to collect $9,675 (Sh1.05 million) and one pair of trousers that you said you’ll return?” read one of the alleged WhatsApp messages sent to Wanjigi.
Another alleged message to Wanjigi read, “Good morning Jimmi. Kindy send me the grey pair of trousers and cheque, please. Regards, Aziz.”
In response, the businessman is alleged to have said: “[I] will send someone to you tomorrow morning. In which name do you want the cheque drawn?”
Ravello said Wanjigi had acquired the sixth pair of trousers at Sh67,500, which he later claimed could not fit him and was to return it. The luxury boutique, however, claims that the businessman did not return nor pay for the trousers.
Ravello claims the tycoon promised to make the payment on February 26, 2020, but is yet to meet his end of the deal.
But according to Wanjigi, the clothing store did not sell him the aforementioned clothes. In his appeal at the civil division of the High Court, he argued that the lower court made the ruling based on “hearsay”.
“The honourable trial magistrate erred in law by basing his order, judgement, decision, decree, on hearsay and, or inadmissible evidence and, or unauthorized and unauthenticated WhatsApp messages,” he said in his countersuit.
The tycoon also accused the magistrate’s court of twisting facts to fit the complainant’s narrative.
“I aver that the contradictions, white lies, and inconsistencies in the statements of the plaintiff’s (Ravello) witnesses namely Peter Macithi and Aziz Fazal could only be dealt with through cross-examination during a full trial of the said suit, and not through an interlocutory application,” said Wanjigi.
The presidential hopeful in his countersuit was adamant that the clothing store is out to harass and taint his image.
In his defense, Wanjigi claimed the WhatsApp messages came from a lawyer identified as Martin Maina who did not testify nor was he listed as a defendant in the suit.
“The defendant herein (Wanjigi) has averred in his defence that he is a total stranger to the plaintiff and that no goods or services were rendered to him. The defendant is a total stranger to the documents such as the WhatsApp messages the plaintiff is relying on in support of its claim,” the billionaire’s lawyer said.
Ravello operates three stores in Nairobi; Sarit, Yaya and Westgate Mall.