Dalbit drops case against Rwanda at regional court

Monday March 13 2017

Judges Monica Mugenyi (right), Isaac Lenaola (left) and Justice Audace Ngiye during a session in the East African Court of Justice. PHOTO| FILE

The East African Court of Justice in a past session. PHOTO| FILE 

By Robert Mbaraga

Kenya's Dalbit Petroleum Ltd has filed a notice to withdraw a case it filed against Rwanda in the East African Court of Justice (EACJ). 

The court told Rwanda Today that judges would decide on the official withdrawal of the case filed on August 15, 2016 in a court hearing.

“The parties have been invited to attend court on March 13 and have the matter formally withdrawn,” Yufnalis Okubo, the registrar of the court said in an e-mail.

The Kenyan petroleum dealer with a presence in most East African markets went to court to contest a decision by Rwanda’s Supreme Court.

The case is related to a loan secured in the name of Dalbit Petroleum (Rwanda) SARL by some of the directors where Dalbit (Kenya) is a shareholder as a mother company.

The applicant alleges the loan and its interest amounting to Rwf208 million was unauthorised and was not taken under their directions.

Compagnie Generale de Banque, the bank that gave the credit was unable to sell the property that was used to secure the loan.

It instituted proceedings in the Commercial High Court of Rwanda, which in September 2014 held that Dalbit Petroleum was liable, and ordered the company to pay damages to the directors who executed the facility agreement. The Supreme Court upheld this Judgment, which angered Dalbit Petroleum.

It is not yet known why the applicant decided to withdraw this case before it could be heard.

However, according to the EACJ registry, the Rwanda government “raised a preliminary objection that the court has no jurisdiction to hear and determine the matter and that the applicant had not exhausted local remedies.”

Withdrawing the case from the EACJ means that Dalbit (Kenya) will have to abide by the judgements of the Rwanda Supreme Court and lose any further rights to reintroduce the claim.