It has emerged that former Football Kenya Federation president Nick Mwendwa and Chief Executive Officer Barry Otieno spent Tuesday night making frantic calls to club chairmen asking them to distance themselves from the suit jointly filed on Monday at the Sports Disputes Tribunal.
Following the joint petition by Chemelil FC and Kenyan Premier League, SDT chairman John Ohaga gave stay orders against the FKF decision to end the top-flight season and declare Gor Mahia the champions pending the hearing and determination of the application.
The hearing has been set for 26 May, with the tribunal also ordering that the petition be served on all the Kenya Premier League clubs who must file their applications for enjoinment as interested parties by Friday, 20 May.
Kurunzi has independently verified that following the order, Mwendwa’s sympathizers and supporters made frantic calls to club chairmen asking them to adopt a replying affidavit authored and sworn by Zoo FC boss Ken Ochieng that suggests the application by Chemelil and KPL was “brought in bad faith, are unmeritorious and amount to an abuse of the court process and should therefore be dismissed forthwith”.
“They were calling asking people to take the affidavit by Ken Ochieng and put their names to say they are not supporting the move by KPL to go to court,” a source told Kurunzi and shared the affidavit drawn by Nairobi West-based Urbanus, Associates Advocates.
“… The Affidavit sworn by Jack Oguda is therefore defective for want of capacity and as such invalidates the petition it accompanies,” reads paragraph 18 of the affidavit, which further avers in the next paragraph that no decision had been reached to authorize the filing of the petition.
“… I am advised by my advocate on record that when companies authorize the commencement of legal proceedings, a resolution or resolutions have to be passed by the Board of Directors, and as the case is for the 2nd petitioner, the Governing Council and or Exco, which are its decision making organs.”
“Protect the interests of prezda”
Multiple sources have told Kurunzi that former Nairobi East branch chairman, now eyeing the National Executive Committee slot, Michael Majua Ouma made calls to officials of “Bandari, Kisumu All-Stars, Ulinzi and even Gor Mahia”, among others asking them to adopt the affidavit by substituting the name of Ken Ochieng and Zoo Football Club “to protect the interests of prezda”.
Paragraph 22 of the affidavit reads: “… As a club featuring in the Kenyan Premier League, we are satisfied with the decision of the 3rd Respondent to conclude the Kenyan Premier League in accordance with the Rules and Regulations Governing Football enacted in 2019 and in view of the prevailing pandemic circumstances.”
It is understood that some of the club officials who were convinced “because they are Mwendwa supporters” started to call their colleagues, most of whom came out to reveal the plot because they believe it is their “right to protect the integrity of the laid-down procedures”.
Some of the officials are now threatening to report the matter to investigative authorities, saying they have the phone call records in which they allege an attempt by the callers to blackmail them, saying they cannot betray Mwendwa “after he has done for you in the past four years”.
They have also said they will include, in their replying affidavits, details of how Mwendwa is attempting to stop the course of justice.
“I am going to enjoin my club in the suit and this phone call is one the things I will include in the application. If need be and depending on the advise of my lawyer, I will produce the call records in the tribunal; i am not sure if that is admissible though,” said an official of an upcountry-based club on condition of anonymity.
Zoo FC players have lodged a constitutional petition in the High Court in Kericho challenging the legality of the SDT rules of procedure.