FKF President Nick Mwendwa quits

NATIONAL |

FKF President Nick Mwendwa is led to a Milimani court on Tuesday, November 30, 2021, where he was charged over corruption allegations in the federation. [Collins Kweyu, Standard]

Football Kenya Federation boss Nick Mwendwa has quit his position, citing frequent arrests and hours after he was charged in court with corruption.

In a terse letter to National Executive Committee members, Mwendwa announced he had since asked his deputy, Doris Petra to assume all functions of the FKF President.

The letter shows he quit on Monday, on the day he was presented in court for to answer to theft charges.

Earlier today, Mwendwa was barred, for the second time in weeks, from accessing the federation’s offices after being charged with conspiracy to defraud Sh38 million.

“While I am confident I will be cleared of any wrong doing in the end, I have today in accordance with Article 42 (8) of the FKF constitution (2017) asked my Vice President Madam Doris Petra to assume all functions of the FKF president,” the letter says.

It was a bad day for Mwendwa who had hoped to stop the charges but senior principal magistrate Eunice Nyutu dismissed his application, opening the way for the charges of fraudulent acquisition of public property and conspiracy to commit a corruption offence.

His woes continued after being slapped with a Sh10 million cash bail to secure his release after four days in police custody or a bond of Sh15 million with two sureties and a gag order stopping him from discussing the case in any media forum.

“He is forbidden from accessing Football Kenya Federation offices, contacting or interfering with any of the witnesses and to deposit his passport in court as a condition for his release,” ruled Nyutu.

Mwendwa denied the four counts in which he is alleged to have committed the offences between March and May this year.

On one count, the ex-FKF boss was charged with conspiracy to commit an offence of corruption where it was alleged that he jointly with other not before court conspired to defraud Football Kenya Federation Sh29,502,709 between April 16 2021 and May 31 2021.

The other charges stated that on March 4 Mwendwa fraudulently acquired Sh5 million which was public funds allocated to FKF. He is alleged to have committed a similar offence on May 15 when he fraudulently acquired Sh2.5 million and another Sh1 million from FKF on May 6.

He had challenged the charges on grounds that his arrest and prosecution violated his rights to fair trial under the Sports Act and the prosecution acted in bad faith by arresting him soon after the court closed another application which sought to detain him for 14 days.

But the magistrate ruled that the Sports Act does not bar the Director of Public Prosecution from preferring charges against any federation official accused of embezzling public funds.

“There is a sports dispute tribunal which deals with all disputes relating to sports and if he believes the government audit report was illegal then he can challenge it at the tribunal but not try to block this case which is criminal in nature and properly investigated by the authorities,” ruled Nyutu.

The magistrate further dismissed Mwendwa’s claims that the charges emanated from the FKF audit report, stating that the charge sheet showed he was investigated by the Director of Criminal Investigation for misappropriating funds meant to develop football in the country.

According to the magistrate, the state did not act in bad faith by preferring the charges against Mwendwa since nothing barred them from pressing the charges after concluding investigations.

“It is a fact that the prosecution had filed an application to detain him pending investigations and the application was closed. However, that did not mean that the court issued a permanent order stopping his arrest and prosecution,” ruled Nyutu.

She also dismissed Mwendwa’s claims that the matter of his ouster from the federation was pending before the High Court, ruling that civil proceedings can run concurrently with criminal cases.

She scheduled December 20 for mention to set a hearing date.?

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