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Tribunal to rule on Gor elections case on Jan 24

Dan Oketch’s lawyer Omondi Omollo confers with Ambrose rachier’s lawyer Geoffrey Obura at teh Sports Disputes Tribunal on December 13, 2016. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 12- The Sports Disputes Tribunal will make a ruling on a case over last December’s Gor Mahia elections on January 24.

A section of Gor Mahia members led by chairmanship aspirant Dan Oketch had filed a case at the tribunal challenging the striking off of some 1,577 voters from the register before the elections, arguing they were duly unregistered.

The Tribunal had a hearing for the case on Thursday morning where a ruling was expected, but Chairman John Ohaga said he needed at least 10 days to discuss with his panel on a preliminary objection put in by Gor Mahia lawyer Geoffrey Obura.

Obura had put in two objections; one, he argued that he and his client were unaware of the identity of the 1,577 voters, save for the 13 who had appended their signatures on the suit papers.

On the second objection, Obura pointed out that there was no respondent on the case and therefore legally, the suit should be disposed off by the Tribunal.

Obura argued that the claimants had sued the club, Gor Mahia, and not its officials hence legally the case could not proceed.

He based his argument on the Kenyan Premier League v Football Kenya Federation High Court case in 2015 where Lady Justice Roselyn Aburili ruled that an entity registered under the societies act cannot sue or be sued under its name.

or Mahia chairman Ambrose Rachier during the launch of the Lottery to Fund Club Programmes.PHOTO/courtesy

But with Gor transiting to the Sports Act, Ohaga said he would need to consult his panel made up of vice chair Elina Shiveka and Njeri Onyango on whether an organization remains autonomous even under the Sports Act.

If Ohaga rules that the club remains autonomous, then the suit will be thrown out.

Lawyer Omondi Omollo appearing on behalf of Oketch and his group had earlier argued they did not sue individuals as the officials ceased holding office when their term ended in December 2015 and were therefore only de-facto officials for the entirety of 2016.

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The argument was thrown out by the tribunal who argued that they would not have agreed to go for elections called by the very officials they argued were illegally out of office, saying there was an agreement before for the officials to continue holding office.

Omollo had also asked for an adjournment for the hearing, saying they had not finished counterchecking the voter register provided to the tribunal by the current office and wanted to counter check with their own list.

Ohaga however objected to the request saying it was the tribunal’s wish to finish up with the matter as soon as possible before the start of the new KPL season.

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