Controversial Kenyan tycoon businessman Jimmy Wanjigi has been taken to court by helicopter charter service firm Lady Lori, who argue that Wanjigi and his companies, Tyl Limited and Kwacha Group of Companies should be blocked from taking possession of his chopper until he settles a Sh16.5 million debt in maintenance and hangar fees owed to them.
The helicopter firm claims that the two firms and Wanjigi contracted them in 2014 to service the aircraft, or provide Mr Wanjigi with one of its helicopters whenever his (Mr Wanjigi’s) was not airworthy, a service the billionaire is yet to pay for. It further claims that Wanjigi and his firms came to them a year later for hangar space services that were also included in the deal.
The helicopter charter service provider wants Wanjigi and his firms barred from taking back their aircraft until they settle a Sh16.5 million debt accumulated since 2015. Wanjigi’s chopper of registration number 5Y-JWJ, was at the centre of attention during the recently concluded elections campaign following the businessman’s reported support for presidential candidate Raila Odinga. Wanjigi and Kwacha Group of Companies have not yet respond to the suit. However, Tyl Limited has in a response made objection to the suit, arguing it was filed to blackmail it into paying debts owed by Mr Wanjigi and Kwacha Group of Companies.
Tyl Limited also alleges that helicopter 5Y-JWJ has been out of operational for over two years. The firm said it owes Lady Lori Sh7 million. “Vide a helicopter maintenance agreement, Lady Lori was approached by Tyl Limited to maintain its helicopter 5Y-JWJ to which Lady Lori agreed.
Further to an oral aircraft agreement, Tyl Limited requested Lady Lori to place its helicopters at the disposal of Jimi Wanjigi at all times when its helicopter shall be under maintenance and is not airworthy. “But Tyl Limited in a clear and elaborate mischief has sought to disown its contractual obligations relating to the maintenance and charter agreements and only seeks to honour the hangarage agreement, which it is also disputing in a bid to avoid paying the full outstanding amounts,” Lady Lori accounts manager Joseph Githiga says in suit papers.
Lady Lori filed invoices for maintenance and for charter services offered to Mr Wanjigi as evidence to prove that the businessman was issued with requests for payment.
Justice Olga Sewe directed Wanjigi’s Tyl Limited to deposit money in lieu of the admitted Sh7 million debt in a joint interest earning account pending hearing and determination of the suit.