The interested parties are shareholders of the KPL. Our chairmen sit in the Governing Council which is the decision-making organ of the KPL. No meeting was called to sanction the decision in accordance with KPL laws.”
Eight clubs have moved to court to support Football Kenya Federation’s decision to cancel the Kenyan Premier League.
Tusker FC, Zoo Kericho, Western Stima, Ulinzi Stars, Kariobangi Sharks, KCB FC, Posta Rangers and Kisumu All Stars will now appear as interested parties in an ongoing case KPL filed at the Sports Disputes Tribunal (SDT) to challenge a decision FKF President Nick Mwendwa made on April 30 to cancel football competitions after the government imposed a ban on all public gatherings following the outbreak of Covid-19.
Three lawyers, Ochutsi Munyendo (Tusker FC, Zoo kericho, Ulinzi Stars, Western Stima and Kariobangi Sharks), Charles Njenga ( KCB FC, Posta and Kisumu All Stars) and Victor Omwebu (FKF) want the case filed by KPL at SDT discarded on legal grounds.
The case was filed by Amos Otieno on behalf of KPL and Chemelil Sugar, while Milton Nyakundi holds brief for Kakamega Homeboyz. The three lawyers have however raised concerns about Otieno’s qualifications, pointing out that the he signed the documents before the Tribunal on May 11, a week before he paid for his practicing certificate.
“He is an unqualified person and cannot represent KPL in this matter,” Munyendo submitted to the Tribunal.
Chemelil Did Not Exhaust Internal Disputes Resolution Mechanisms
Munyendo, Njenga and Omwebu want the case dismissed by the Tribunal on grounds that Chemelil Sugar did not first exhaust all the internal disputes resolution mechanisms in line with the FKF constitution before seeking a court intervention.
“Chemelil should have dealt with the disagreement within the mechanisms set out in the FKF constitution before approaching this Tribunal or any other forum,” said Omwebu.
They further argue that KPL chief executive officer Jack Oguda lacks the Locus Standi (the right to appear in the court) to represent the KPL. Munyendo said that Oguda did not consult the clubs before he proceeded to file the case at the Tribunal and had no mandate in such a situation to represent their interests.
“The interested parties are shareholders of the KPL. Our chairmen sit in the Governing Council which is the decision-making organ of the KPL. No meeting was called to sanction the decision in accordance with KPL laws. Mr Oguda has no legal capacity to institute the suit as he is not a legal person,” Munyendo submitted.
FKF Never Consulted KPL Before Cancelling The League
While lending credence to Munyendo’s argument, Omwebu said that the KPL never sought out FKF’s opinion on the matter before proceeding to court.
“The KPL is allegedly represented by its CEO. We know corporate law; a CEO does not act on his own. He is mandated; he is a servant and an agent. Did the CEO have express authority? I expect this to be a very clear issue that comes early in his supporting affidavit, mandated by the Governing Council,” Omwebu offered.
Otieno in his defense said that KPL had been forced to seek a court intervention because the FKF National Executive Committee had been rendered useless following a ruling made by the Sports Disputes Tribunal which stated that only Mwendwa would remain in office after two consecutive elections were annulled on legal grounds.
He pointed out that the mere absence of NEC disqualified Mwendwa’s decision to cancel the league because it was made unilaterally without adhering to the necessary consultative procedures as required by law.
“The first respondent (FKF boss Nick Mwendwa) had no mandate to end the league without consulting the second petitioner (KPL) who has executive mandate to manage the league. The first respondent made an arbitrary decision without consultation,” Otieno stated.
In response Omwebu however said that the absence of NEC didn’t mean that FKF could not go ahead with such a decision because there exists a leagues and competitions committee whose mandate is to deal with any matters arising from the running of various leagues.
FKF had cancelled the league citing the Force Majeure rule in it’s constitution and declared Gor Mahia champions based on the log of the mid-season.
Ohaga To Give Verdict On June 30
In his submission done via Zoom that lasted three hours and 15 minute, Tribunal chairman John Ohaga set June 30 as the date for preliminary hearing.
“If the Preliminary points are upheld, then it will be the end of the matter and if dismissed, the tribunal will then hear the matter on that day,” Ohaga said.