A former chairman of Pevans East Africa Limited, the proprietor of Sportpesa, risks being jailed for six months for contempt of court.
High Court Judge Joseph Sergon on Thursday summoned Paul Wanderi Ndung’u to appear before the court on Tuesday next week to explain why he should not be jailed for publishing information about the company and its directors despite a court order which gagged him.
“The court hereby issues summons for Paul Wanderi Ndung’u to appear before it on April 25 and show cause why he should not be committed to civil jail for his wilful disregard and disobedience of a valid court order issued by this court on March 25, 2022,” the judge ruled.
Justice Sergon last year issued an order stopping Ndung’u from publishing or making any false allegations or defamatory statements against the SportPesa Brand and its directors or referring to them in a manner that destroys their reputation. The company and its directors Ronald Karauri, Niokolov Guerassim, and Gene Grand argued that despite the court order, Ndung’u on several occasions disregarded the court order and continued to republish defamatory statements and communications against the company and its directors.
They had sued the former chairman in March last year claiming that he made false, unsubstantiated, and slanderous allegations of tax evasion, money laundering, and mismanagement of the company by the directors.
According to the directors, the intention was to bring the company down and damage its reputation, credit, and business integrity.
They accused Ndung’u of continuing to make false allegations and urged Justice Sergon to find him guilty of contempt.
Justice Sergon agreed that the republication of the alleged offending materials amounted to contempt of court which should not go unpunished.
“Such actions run against the rule of law and the independence of the Judges and the judiciary and in most cases scandalises and lowers dignity and the judicial authority in Kenya.