SECTIONS

Court orders for arrest of B-Club director over contempt of court

The Environment and Lands Court in Nairobi has issued a warrant of arrest against the director of a club in Kilimani for defying orders to shut down. [File, Standard]

The Environment and Lands Court in Nairobi has issued a warrant of arrest against the director of a club in Kilimani for defying orders to shut down over excessive noise in the area.

Kilimani residents sued B-Club alongside Explorers Tavern, Space Lounge & Grill and Kiza Restaurant & Lounge for being a menace to their neighbourhood.

Following the case, the High Court ordered them to close. The clubs appealed but that court also declined to lift the orders.

However, B-Club continued operating, prompting the residents led by Irungu Houghton to move back to court and seek orders to jail its director for contempt of court.

Justice Lucy Kimongoi ordered the arrest of B-Club director Barry Ndengeyingoma and that be produced in court for sentencing.

The judge found that running the posh club after the court ordered it to shut down for noise pollution was an act of defiance.

“I am satisfied that the continued operation of the business of the first respondent (B-Club) in the absence of the orders from the Court of Appeal amounts to contempt of this court’s judgment of October 17, 2019,”  ruled Justice Kimongoi.

The residents' lawyer Cecil Miller argued that Ndengeyingoma was aware of the court’s judgment but chose not to comply.

According to him, B-Club has continued to disturb Kilimani residents’ peace and continued to invite the public to its premises on its social media platforms.

In his reply, Ndengeyingoma told the court that he has not disobeyed any orders. 

According to him, he subleased the property to QuikC hen restaurant Limited after he started struggling to pay rent due to Covid-19.

 According to him, he installed soundproof equipment worth Sh20 million adding that he should not be jailed because of a heart condition that needs regular check-ups.

“My decision to soundproof the premises prevented any form of violation of the petitioner's right to a clean and healthy environment. The petitioner failed to undertake due diligence to establish and verify that the first respondent was enjoying possession of the said premises,” replied Ndengeyingoma

Kilimani residents sued the club owners, complaining that the loud music from the clubs and chaos was causing residents a lot of anguish and stress forcing them to spend nights and weekends away from their homes.

This, the court heard, happened between Wednesday and Sunday.

The renowned international Billion Club (B-Club) is a franchise that started in Brussels and Dubai.

B- Club, launched in 2016 is said to be owned by Ndengeyingoma alias Ndengenye and his wife Samia. The club is located on the first floor of Galana Plaza off Ngong Road.

B- Club in its court papers claims that it invested more than Sh150 million while Explorers Tavern proprietor Antonio Leting with another unnamed person splashed at least Sh50 million in the name of disrupting clubbing lifestyle in Africa to take it to new heights.

Justice Kimongoi had ordered National Environmental Management (Nema) on October 17, 2019, to cancel the licenses it had issued to the clubs.

This is after Kilimani residents, through a lobby, Kilimani Project Foundation complained of breaching their rights to a peaceful, clean and healthy environment by playing loud music at night and hosting rowdy revellers.

But the clubs pleaded that they are willing to abide by any conditions set by the court to ensure they are running, at the same time, keeping peace with the residents.

According to the clubs, they were in the process of filing an appeal to challenge the earlier orders by the judge for Nema to cancel their licenses.