Tough times: AFC Leopards caught up in Sh3 billion debt
Kenyan Premier League outfit AFC Leopards is embroiled in a court battle with sports gear company Nsejjere Sports LLC over a kitting deal.
Ingwe Secretary General Oscar Igaida confirmed to The Nairobian that indeed Milimani High Court had ordered all movable property of Ingwe be attached for failing to pay USD 33, 117, 081 (Sh3,340,851,131) fine for breach of contract with the American firm.
According to Igaida, the club has since acquired an important document which gives them some relief — at least for now.
“It is true we had been put on the line to be auctioned, but, through our lawyers, we have now obtained a ‘stay order’. The problem was with former officials; they did not file any defence in time, when the club was sued the first time, so Nsejjere Sports got a summary judgment. But we have managed to get a stay,” he said.
In the recent order, which also listed the club’s former officials as defendants, Dalali Auctioneers have been given the mandate to acquire the debtor’s properties on behalf of the creditor. The former officials listed include Allan Kasavuli (Chairman), Patrick Ngaira (vice chairman), George Aladwa (Secretary General), Esther Luvembe (acting treasurer) and Timothy Lilumbi (Organising Secretary).
This follows a 2015 court case where the supplier accused the club of failing to adhere to their 2011 agreement. According to the agreement entered into on July 7, 2011, Nsejjere Sports LLC was to manufacture and supply AFC Leopards with various sports apparel, including replica jerseys, T-shirts and caps until June 2017.
It was also agreed that the supplier would annually provide two full uniforms at no cost for the first season of relationship as long as the club met the annual minimum quantities obligation.
On the other hand, the club was to exclusively use the products supplied by Nsejjere Sports LLC and was forbidden from using competitor’s products.
The supplier is said to have opened a factory line for AFC Leopards worth Sh22.5 million and had also, in February 2014, manufactured and shipped products worth millions of shillings. But the firm claims Ingwe officials declined to accept products that year — and that the club had already entered into another agreement with the company’s rival called Sportbiz Limited.
The court was then asked to give temporary orders to restrain club officials from selling merchandise and player uniforms not supplied by Nsejjere Sports LLC. It was also ordered that AFC Leopardscompensate the supplier for loss of revenue. The amount to be compensated was however left for the court to decide. The Nairobian has seen court the documents pertaining the case.
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