Actuarial seeks court help to stop disciplinary action over NBK pay

Mr Oketch unearthed the underpayment of the former NBK employees when he testified before the Retirement Benefits Authority (RBA) appeals tribunal in 2012 on its request.

The judge heard discontent emerged when Mr Oketch faulted Alexander Forbes Financial Services and its official, Sundeed Raichura, over the manner in which they declined to observe pension rules when calculating the terminal dues payable to the 133 former bankers.

The court heard that soon after the disclosures, a malicious disciplinary claim against Mr Oketch by Forbes and Mr Raichura was filed in South Africa but was dismissed.

An international actuarial supervisory body has been barred from commencing disciplinary proceedings against a South African based actuarial who tabulated the Sh84.4 million payable to 133 former employees of the National Bank of Kenya (NBK).

High Court Judge Justice Enock Chacha Mwita restrained a city based financial company (Alexander Forbes) from instituting at the London based Institute and Faculty of Actuaries Disciplinary Scheme disciplinary action against Robert Amos Oketch.

In his ruling, Justice Mwita who certified as urgent the case filed by lawyer Titus Koceyo who said the action taken against Mr Oketch “would scare away expert witnesses from assisting the Kenyan Judiciary in arriving at fair decisions.”

Alexander Forbes, which is also a South African based actuarial firm but with offices in Nairobi, had advised that the 133 be paid Sh36,039,829.

But when Mr Oketch who was appointed by the RBA established that the pensioners were underpaid by Sh51,387,080.

The four-member RBA appeals tribunal comprising Kakai Chelot, Veronicah L Owede , Job N Momanyi and lawyer Muthomi Thiankolu ordered NBK to pay the difference to the retirees with interest.

Justice Mwita said Mr Oketch, who is employed by NBC Proprietary Actuaries South Africa had been invited by the tribunal to give expert evidence on the amounts payable to the retrenched employees of NBK.

The judge said testimony availed by Mr Koceyo for the expert witness established that he was a arguable case and that his fundamental and constitutional rights are likely to be breached if the disciplinary action goes on in London.

Said Mwita in his ruling: “Pending the hearing and determination of this case, a conservatory order be and is hereby issued restraining the lodging of a complaint, instituting, maintaining any and/or undertaking any disciplinary proceedings in London against the petitioner (Oketch) arising out of his expert report submitted to the RBA appeals tribunal and NBK.”

The judge directed Mr Koceyo to serve all those named in the case for hearing May 2.

Mr Oketch has named eight trustees of the NBK pensioners scheme led by Andrew Hamilton, the bank, Mr Raichura, Forbes, Institute and Faculty of Actuaries disciplinary scheme, RBA and the Attorney General as respondents.

Mr Koceyo told the judge that before the London disciplinary action against Mr Oketch, another one had been instituted against him by Forbes and Mr Raichura in South Africa but that it was dismissed.

In his evidence before the RBS Mr Oketch identified as illegal action by the trustees, Mr Raichura and Forbes which disenfranchised a large section of NBK employees.

He said these actions were initiated by an illegal report by Mr Raichura and Forbes which saw a large transfer of the pensioners’ benefits by a few management staff of NBK to themselves in an inequitable manner contrary to requirements of the RBA laws.

“Interests of all shareholders need to be protected at all times,” Mr Oketch told the tribunal adding that “all these illegal transfers were carried out in anticipation of a retrenchment at the NBK.”

Justice Mwita heard that Mr Oketch had established in his expert report that Mr Raichura and Forbes had misadvised the bank in 2000.

The expert says Forbes and Mr Raichura intimidates other actuaries and does not want them being hired to offer expert services in pension matters.

He states that the London based disciplinary body cannot interfere with the judicial process in Kenya as it is illegal and unconstitutional.

Maendeleo Chap Chap to sue Wiper, Senator Omar

KNH in talks to help local kidney patients