A Nigerian national, who was recently arrested at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi, has lost his bid to recover Ksh100,000 million seized by authorities.
Mauzu Bala had last week moved to court claiming that the government is only interested in his money as he is yet to be charged with any offence.
But Justice James Wakiaga dismissed Bala’s application for the release of the confiscated money, saying whether he declared the currency in Nigeria before boarding the plane to Nairobi was not relevant at this stage.
Justice Wakiaga ruled that the application which was before the court was for preservation of the money, pending conclusion of investigations to establish the source and legality of the money and whether Assets recovery Agency (ARA) will file a petition for forfeiture to the state.
“In the final analysis, I find no merit in the application for variation of the orders herein at this stage, which I hereby dismiss with costs in the cause,” ruled Justice Wakiaga.
In the application seeking the release of the money which was confiscated on December 4, Bala claimed the state is planning on taking his money and later deporting him.
“All the respondent is concerned with is to confiscate my hard-earned money and have me deported,” Bala swore in an affidavit further asking the court to order release of the money so that he could proceed with his journey to Dubai.
The suspect carrying the money in a bag; 880,000 US dollars, 60,000 Euros and 63,000 Nigerian Naira, did not have relevant documents, authorities told the court.
But according to the Nigerian, he had declared the money in Lagos, Nigeria before he boarded a Kenya Airways plane to Nairobi.
“At the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, I declared the currency and was cleared by customs for travel. I checked in the consignment and as is the usual norm in international travels, my next declaration point would have been Dubai International Airport,” he said.
Bala said that he was surprised that the money was cleared in Lagos only to be pounced on in Nairobi.
“The intention at the time could have been only to deprive me of my money,” he added.
The court had ordered that the money be deposited at the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK).