NAIROBI, May 27 – The High Court will on June 6 determine the fate of football in the country following the protracted controversy within the local football governing body, the Kenya Football Federation (KFF).
Justice Hatari Waweru on Tuesday heard arguments from lawyers representing the wrangling parties with each maintaining that they are the bona fide officials of the troubled federation.
One of the parties, Sam Nyamweya, claimed that he was entitled to lead the federation because he was duly elected, while his opponents led by Mohammed Hatimy argued that Nyamweya and his team were strangers to the running of KFF’s affairs.
Through lawyer Frederick Ashimosi, Nyamweya argued that he is recognised by the Registrar of Societies as the chairman of the federation and his legality in office had not been challenged in a court of law.
“My lord, only the latest challenged registration and my learned colleagues will agree with me, is dated August 2007, but the court declined to grant an order of staying the applicant’s registration.”
Hatimy’s lawyer July Aulo argued that her client’s group was the one recognised by the world football governing body FIFA and had been running football affairs in the country.
Aulo submitted that prior to their purported registration as officials, Nyamweya and his group had been expelled from the federation.
She claimed that Peter Ochiel, who is named as the second plaintiff in the case, had resigned from KFF but is now party to the case.
“The plaintiffs in this application (Nyamweya and Ochiel) were expelled even before their registration in 2007 and this decision is even upheld by FIFA,” she offered.
Legality of Fifa statutes
Ashimosi meanwhile challenged the legality of FIFA statutes arguing that KFF was not subject to them and added that the laws of Kenya were superior in hierarchy.
“FIFA statutes cannot override legislations; they in fact rank lower in hierarchy, below even customary law,” he stated.
Aulo argued that all members of KFF regardless of their legality in office were bound by FIFA statutes as stipulated in the KFF constitution.
KPL a non-entity
Nyamweya has also challenged the existence of the Kenya Premier League (KPL), saying it is a non-entity since it changed its name to Nairobi Football Group in September 2006.
He also contested the use of KFF rights by Hatimy’s group terming it an infringement of the federation’s rights.
Meanwhile, Nyamweya and group have also sought orders to bar Hatimy and his team from operating the accounts of the troubled federation. He claimed that there was ‘looming danger’ that Hatimy and his group would withdraw money from the federation’s accounts.