Reprieve for FKF boss Nick Mwendwa
Football Kenya Federation (FKF) president Nick Mwendwa received a major reprieve yesterday after Kiambu Law courts stopped the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) from charging him afresh over the alleged loss of Sh 38 million.
Kiambu Senior Resident Magistrate, Wilson Rading stopped the DPP from commencing any fresh charges against Mwendwa pending the determination of a petition he (Mwendwa) has filed at the High Court.
“The court is apprehensive that the decision of the High court may have a direct effect on the matter before it and in the interest of justice and in avoidance of two conflicting decisions, it is imperative that this court directs that the proceedings herein be stayed pending the decision of the High court in petition Number 16 of 2022,” ordered Rading.
Mwendwa through lawyers Eric Mutua and Charles Njenga had demanded that the fresh charges quashed arguing that the DPP drew similar charges under the Penal Code as opposed to those initially filed against him under the Economics and Crimes Act therefore are smirks of malice and bad faith.
Lawyer Njenga argues that the DPP has changed its tactic and filed a fresh case under the Penal Code where they want the FKF boss charged with stealing instead of corruption charges.
Mutua told People Sport that the stay order meant that all the fresh charges against his client had been thwarted and that Mwendwa was now a free man and qualified to return to the federation’s head quarters, Kandanda House as the football president, a position he had relinquished as he stepped aside to allow investigations.
“The stay order by the courts today mean that Mwendwa is now a free man and can go back to conduct all his duties as the preseident of FKF if he so wishes,” Mutua said.
He added: “The attempt by DPP to charge Mwendwa afresh in a different court is an abuse of prosecution powers intended to keep him out of football management for ulterior motives of Haji and the Sports Ministry.”
Njenga claims that the law permits cases to be tried by courts within the jurisdiction where the alleged offense was committed.
Stopping fresh charges
Mwendwa had sought to stop the DPP, the Inspector General of police (IG) and Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) from commencing fresh charges against him at the chief magistrates court for the alleged offense stemming from the Report of Football Kenya Federation Inspection Committee dated November 5, 2021, a Press Statement issued by the former Cabinet Secretary Sports Amina Mohammed dated November 11, 2021 on the status of FKF.
The lawsuit at the High Court came days after Kiambu court on July 7,2 022 ordered Mwendwa to appear before Senior Principal Magistrate Kibet Sambu July 15, 2022 to plead to the fresh fraud charges.
The summons were issued after the DPP through Joseph Riungu filed a new criminal case against Mwendwa in Kiambu after a Milimani Anti-Corruption Court discharged him of corruption charges under section 87 (a) of the Criminal Procedure Code on July 6, 2022.
The corruption court discharged Mwendwa after the DPP failed to avail witnesses and evidence against the former FKF president for two days when the matter had been scheduled for hearing on July 5 and 6 this year.
Following the summons Mwendwa moved hastily and filed a petition challenging the fresh trial saying his rights have been infringed given that the DPP had told anti-graft chief magistrate Esther Nyuttu he had no evidence to tender in court.