NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 16 – The Football Kenya Federation national elections will finally proceed on Saturday after the Sports Disputes Tribunal threw out a petition filed by several interested candidates, including former boss Sam Nyamweya trying to stop it.
In a 15 minute ruling delivered by Tribunal boss John Ohaga via Zoom on Friday afternoon, Ohaga said the petition lacked merit and the fact that Lordvick Aduda, one of the petitioners had indeed conformed to the process and presented nomination papers weighed down the petition.
“If the first to eighth petitioners had a bona fide interest in vying for national office, they should have demonstrated this in the first instance by putting forward their candidature. The proposition that this would have been futile is misconceived as already demonstrated by a reference to the defection of the second petitioner,” Ohaga said in his ruling.
He added; “We think this conclusion is sufficient to dispose the petition and not necessary to delve into other issues.”
He also ruled that the petitioners will bear the costs of the proceedings and only the respondents, the Football Kenya Federation Electoral Board would benefit.
This was the third time that the issue of the elections was at the disposal of the SDT with the two other petitions having gone in their favor.
Nyamweya alongside other interested candidates including Twaha Mbarak, Nicholas Musonye and Aduda had gone to the Tribunal to protest the polls on account of the eligibility rules which they argued were flawed.
However, after they had presented their case, Aduda made an about turn and went on to present his nomination papers to the electoral board alongside his running mate Athanus Obala.
After seeing his papers accepted, Aduda declared that he was satisfied with the process and everything was done in accordance to the law.
“This simple act significantly undermines the entire premise of the first to eighth petitioners’ case. The contention is founded on a theoretical framework which has been found to have been built on quicksand. We do not see how it can be sustained,” said Ohaga in his ruling.
The petitioners had also argued that the Board did not have the requisite authority to conduct the elections but this was also shut down by the Tribunal which relied on Article 27 (1) of the FKF Constitution which gives the board mandate to conduct and manage the elections.
Meanwhile, the Sports Registrar Rose Wasike had also made a late attempt to stop the elections on the account of the registration of the 47 branches as County Associations.
In response, FKF CEO Barry Otieno questioned her intents with raising the questions and writing to them to postpone the polls on Thursday, barely 48 hours to the anticipated exercise.
Ohaga offered a reprieve to the Federation stating that the issues raised are not weighty enough to pull down the exercise.
“The elections have been nullified on two occasions previously at significant costs, both monetary and capital expended by candidates. Also put into consideration is country’s anxiety to have elections proceed,”
“The matters with respect to compliance to regulation do not outweigh the interest in moving the football fraternity forward. For that reason, the Tribunal will allow elections to move forward and if there are any issues after that there are avenues available in law to petition the Tribunal,” Ohaga said.
This now paves way for the football elections, initially scheduled for last year and twice cancelled by the Tribunal.
Nick Mwendwa is hot favorite to retain his seat as the Federation boss.
Aduda will also try to unseat him with Boniface Osano, former AFC Leopards chair Dan Mule as well as former Deputy Secretary General Herbert Mwachiro also in contention.