NAIROBI, August 18- The bruising three-year battle for justice by former Tusker FC and Harambee Stars midfielder and elected vice-president, Sammy Sholei, to reverse his Football Kenya Federation (FKF) indefinite ban succeeded Tuesday when the Sports Tribunal lifted his suspension.
Speaking when making the ruling, the Tribunal said the manner in which the federation and its president, Sam Nyamweya went about undertaking disciplinary measures against Sholei was “fundamentally flawed and harsh.”
“While the Tribunal is prepared to find that the federation had a legitimate interest in undertaking disciplinary measures against Mr. Shollei, the manner in which it went about undertaking these measures was defective.
“The plaintiff was not afforded a proper opportunity to put forward his case and was in effect subjected to a lynching by the federation.
“The fact that Mr. Shollei attended before the General Meeting and pro-offered a defence and apology does not waive the requirements of Article 50 aforesaid and do not raise an estoppels against the Appeal,” Peter Ochieng who read the verdict on behalf of the Tribunal ruled.
“Even if the Tribunal had found that the disciplinary proceedings had been conducted properly, we are of the considered view that the length of suspension imposed is unreasonable, harsh and oppressive and is certainly out of proposition with the offence alleged to have been committed,” the tribunal added.
The case that took two months was heard by a panel of five judges led by tribunal chairman, John Ohaga, Njeri Onyango, Gabriel Ouko, Gichuhi Kiplagat and Ochieng.
Shollei who was voted in vice-president to Nyamweya in the October 28, 2011 elections before he fell out with the football chief who engineered his removal months later, declared in the immediate aftermath he would not seek to resume his office.
“It went as we expected, we have won and I’m so happy. Justice has not taken too long because the arbitration court had not been constituted. The disciplinary committees that were there before were not something that one can trust.
“I’m not eager to go back at FKF because there is a lot of positive things I need to think about and as for the elections, I’m waiting for rules as soon as that is out, I will determine whether I will run or not,” the delighted Shollei declared outside the arbitration court.
The tribunal ordered the federation to make necessary arrangements to ensure that in the event Shollei chooses to run for an elective post in the upcoming elections, he shall do so without any impediments.
Concerning the August 28 Annual General Meeting (AGM), the federation was directed to include the matter of registration of the local football body under the Sport Act 2013 in its agenda.
The law requires the registration to be undertaken immediately thereafter and in any event within 60 days from the date of AGM.
Shollei however, stated that he will not attend the AGM that will be held in Nairobi after the initial aborted in Kisii on June 26.
“I don’t need to attend the AGM because the biggest issue that was killing me was my suspension now that I’m free, I don’t need to go there furthermore the office is being disbanded after three months.”
The decision to end his suspension needs to be ratified by delegates for it to be binding to the federation during the AGM that will be presided by Nyamweya otherwise his status and involvement in seeking office at the forthcoming polls will be in limbo.
A copy of the verdict will be sent to FIFA by the Tribunal.