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Court extends KPL injunction to Mar 13

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NAIROBI, March 5- The High Court has extended the injunction against Kenyan Premier League to March 13 when Lady Justice Aburili will rule on the pending applications tied to the civil suit filed by Football Kenya Federation.

Both parties have until Monday to submit written applications arguing their case while the enjoinment ruling of suspended FKF vice-president, Sammy Shollei and Nairobi Delegate, Dan Shikanda will be delivered Friday.

Over 100 fans parked Nairobi’s Milimani High Court room 208 Thursday to listen to proceedings as the wheels of justice started turning to resolve the football crisis over the composition of this season’s Premier League after FKF and KPL once again failed to thrash an agreement within the 48 hours given by Justice Aburili on Tuesday.

“Since both parties failed to settle the matter out of court, we will proceed on hearing the applications that I hope we will end this matter today because all these people here in court are eagerly waiting for the decision,” the judge said when he mentioned the case.

There was drama outside the court once again when fans dressed in AFC Leopards jerseys accosted KPL CEO, Jack Oguda, chanting “Oguda, you have spoiled our football!” before walking away without further incident.

“The federation must be respected, all clubs elected the federation and we don’t want to interfere with the federation, KPL must be submissive to federation. Oguda must go!” one of the fans who confronted the KPL CEO who was unperturbed as he walked out of the courtroom shouted.

After being chased out of the same facility on Tuesday where he was forced to run for dear life, FKF vice-president, Robert Asembo, came armed with his band of youth and told the press after the case was adjourned, “we have left the decision to the court.”

“The endeavor by Fifa and Government urging us to talk has not materialised so the court is there as a neutral arbitrator on issues which parties cannot agree. The court has demonstrated there is going to be an expeditious disposal of this matter and it’s in our interest to have it well sorted out.

“This country has come to a time where the rule of law must be respected, so if you are within the law you have nothing to worry. Some players and coaches are affected others are not because we have played FKF Premier League matches,” Asembo who had walked out of the court building before coming back with youths who urged him to address the press declared.

On his part Oguda said, “We respect law and we will obey today’s direction by the judge as we wait the ruling of our pending cases on (March) 13th.”

The civil division judge said the issue of contempt of court against KPL could not be ruled since she had to retire and deliberate on the matter with the league management company accused of defying the original injunction granted by Justice Mbogholi Msagha on February 26 by playing their first round of 2015 fixtures on the weekend of February 27 and 28.

FKF lawyer Eric Mutua told the court Oguda, his chairman Ambrose Rachier, Tusker FC chairman James Musyoki, Ulinzi Stars Col. J.S Mwinyikai, Mathare United’s Bob Munro, AFC Leopards’ Allan Kasavuli and Sofapaka’s Elly Kalekwa be committed to six month civil jail for contempt of court.

“Oguda was served injunction on 20th of this month (February) at 5:30pm and declined to stamp the original order. The second defendant who is Kenya Football Referees Association was served by Pius Oyoo at City Stadium the following day.”

KPL lawyer Geoffrey Obura persuaded court to dismiss the application since there was no evidence that the accused received the injunction.

“The court cannot punish anyone because prove of contempt is beyond reasonable doubt. My client (Oguda) left office by 5:30pm and he did not see anyone serving him with the court order neither did the guard Peter Barasa who filed an affidavit.”

Justice Aburili began hearing the enjoinment case filed by Shollei and Shikanda who are seeking to be attached as interested parties in the hope they will get an explanation why they were banned from football leadership for six years after falling out with FKF president, Sam Nyamweya.

“By allowing the two to participate, the court will not only continue assisting them violate the ban but will also interfere with another court that suspended them,” Mutua argued.

Sholei and Shikanda lawyer Hellen Ngesa replied; “The two deserve to be included as interested parties because they are involved in nurturing talent.”

“We shall wait and hear the ruling then from there we will plan our next step,” Shikanda stated.

Earlier, FKF’s lawyer, Mutua submitted the two feuding parties at the centre of the suit had only agreed on one of four contentious issues pulling them apart – that of change of name from KPL Premier League to FKF Premier League which is in accordance to Fifa statutes.

On March 13, Justice Aburili will give direction on contempt of court proceedings, KPL’s responding affidavit and injunction orders in that order.

Among those who expressed disappointment on the  impasse are former Gor Mahia player Ken Oliech and former national team Under-20 head coach, Bob Oyugi.

“It’s pathetic; it’s not something that we can discuss and it’s all about mismanaged somebody should come and save us. Players are suffering since they are in the dark,” Oyugi told Capital Sport.

“The interest of players is not catered for as both sides continue fighting in court. I see another ban coming. We have to do something about our football management.

“During my time there were two leagues and it wasn’t good at all since Gor and AFC Leopards were in different leagues so there was no competition,” Ken who is the elder brother of former Harambee Stars captain Dennis Oliech underscored.

 

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