DCI free to investigate Mwendwa, court rules

FKF President Nick Mwendwa

Football Kenya Federation (FKF) President Nick Mwendwa addresses journalists during the unveiling of the FKF-Premier League trophy on July 29, 2021 at the Safari Park Hotel, Nairobi.

Photo credit: Sila Kiplagat | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Journalist questions money transfers by the federation
  • Football boss loses bid to stop police from probing FKF’s financial operations

Football Kenya Federation (FKF) president Nick Mwendwa has failed in his bid to block his possible arrest and prosecution amid accusations of misappropriation of funds at the sports body.

Mwendwa, through lawyer Tom Ojienda, sued the Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI), Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), and journalist Milton Nyakundi last year after a complaint was filed with the Banking Fraud Investigations Unit (BFIU) touching on the finances of the federation.

Mwendwa, who is serving his second four-year term in office, argued in his court papers that Nyakundi is not a member of FKF and thus lacks the locus standi to complain about matters touching on the football body.

The FKF boss further argued that possible summons by the DCI amounted to a violation of his rights.

But Justice James Makau, in a 36-page rulingon Thursday, dismissed the petition, indicating it not only lacked merit but was also premature and speculative.

"I, therefore, find the petitioners' prayer for an order of a permanent injunction prohibiting the DCI and DPP  summoning, investigating, charging, or prosecuting the petitioners with respect to the financial management of FKF is not justified in the circumstances of this case," ruled Justice Makau.

Nyakundi wants the BFIU to investigate what he claims are suspicious transactions within FKF accounts.

"The petitioners claim that the FKF Constitution and Fifa Statutes provide for a comprehensive mechanism of financial audit of all monies received by the FKF. However, I am not convinced that the existence of an audit mechanism negates the investigative jurisdiction of the DCI and DPP and specifically where a complaint of a financial crime has been made."

Specifically, Nyakundi wants the BFIU and Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) to investigate whether or not Mwendwa transferred monies from FKF accounts to his personal accounts.

FKF receives grants to the tune of Sh200 million each year from the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and Fifa mainly to fund  development of youth and women football, plus training of referees and coaches.

The federation has also in the past year received Sh100 million Covid-19 relief funds from Fifa.

The Ministry of Sports handed the federation Sh244 million to prepare Harambee Stars for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt. The federation took the team to France and Spain for preps. The Auditor General however recently flagged some of the expenditure.
 

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