Court extends orders suspending SDT proceedings against FKF
The High Court of Mombasa has extended the duration of temporary orders stopping all proceedings against Football Kenya Federation (FKF) at the Sports Disputes Tribunal until further notice.
The initial orders issued on Tuesday last week were set to lapse on June 29, when the matter was to be mentioned but the date has been changed after 11 persons including judicial staff tested positive for COVID-19.
A total of 118 people identified as contact persons involved with the court’s activities are currently in isolation as directed by the Ministry of Health following the 11 positive cases, consequently leading to CJ David Maraga’s direction to close down the courts in Mombasa on June 19.
Directions by the Deputy Registrar Mombasa Law Courts C. A Ogweno dated June 23, 2020 as seen by Citizen Digital, spell out that open court proceedings have been cancelled from June 19 to July 3.
“This will be reviewed at the lapse of intervening period or after the Court Users Committee Meeting scheduled for June 30 2020 or shall otherwise be communicated to members.
“All matters scheduled to be heard or mentioned during this period shall be given other dates once normal court registry operations resume…,” read part of the communique.
Importantly for the FKF/SDT context, the Deputy Registrar has further directed that all interim orders set to expire during this period shall be automatically extended.
The orders also mean the case in which the Kenya Premier League is seeking resumption of the Premier League against FKF’s declaration to end the season owing to COVID-19 pandemic, is stalled in the meantime.
It also means the SDT ruling that twice cancelled the FKF elections is temporarily null and void, following a petition by Gabriel Mghendi (FKF Coast National Executive Committee) and Lilian Nadundu, as the first and second petitioners respectively constitutionality the authority of the SDT to “arbitrate” on sports matters.
The Chief Justice of Kenya, the Chief Registrar of the Judiciary and the Attorney General are listed as the first, second and third respondents respectively, with the FKF and the Cabinet Secretary of Sports, Culture and Heritage as interested parties.
The petitioners are arguing that the SDT has overstepped its jurisdiction as established in the constitution, as “a subordinate court” to designate itself as an independent arbitration tribunal. This, as contained in their petition, has been happening without any moderation by the respondents.
“Most recently, the SDT in its decision in SDT Petition Number 3 of 2020 as consolidated with SDT Petition Number 5 of 2020 delivered on March 17, 2020, the SDT for the second time in a row halted the elections of FKF and purported to strike down the entire section 4 of the FKF Electoral Code that was duly enacted and adopted by the members of FKF at the SGM held on 28th January, 2020 and the unlawfully removed the FKF National Executive Committee from office,” read part of the petition.
Another part read, “the respondents have over time countenanced the continued violation of the constitution of Kenya by by allowing SDT to cloth itself with arbitral authority by arrogating to itself arbitral jurisdiction of matters it has no authority over and per incurium.”
This comes just a day after FKF presidential aspirant Sammy Sholei joined a section of FKF supremo Nick Mwendwa critics calling for the Sports Cabinet Secretary Amb. Amina Mohammed to form a Normalization Committee, to run football in the country pending elections.
Meanwhile, world football governing body FIFA is still quiet on the date for a meeting with the FKF, Sports Ministry and the SDT to chat out the roadmap to the much delayed elections.
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