FKF boss Nick Mwendwa fails to appear in court for graft case
Embattled Football Kenya Federation (FKF) president Nick Mwendwa failed to appear at the Kiambu law courts again on Monday to answer a fresh criminal case filed against him by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
Instead, he filed a fresh application seeking to suspend his trial before Kiambu chief magistrate Simon Rading pending the outcome of another case he filed at the High Court on September 23, 2022.
Defence lawyers opposed the filing of theft charges against Mwendwa telling Rading he should not entertain the new move to charge the FKF president since an earlier case had been withdrawn by the DPP at the Anti-Corruption Court Milimani on July 6, 2022.
Rading was told chief magistrate Eunice Nyuttu had discharged Mwendwa in the Sh38million graft case.
Mwendwa has now filed twin applications at the Kiambu Law Courts seeking orders to restrain the DPP from preferring the fresh charges against the backdrop of the discharge of the graft case.
But a team of state prosecutors led by Kiambu County Prosecutor Everlyne Onunga opposed the contention that Mwendwa should not be prosecuted afresh.
“There is no order presented to this court to stop the fresh prosecution of Mwendwa. I urge this court to proceed to give directions,” Ms Onunga submitted.
She asked Rading to direct the defence team comprising Eric Mutua and Charles Njenga to furnish the prosecution with a copy of the fresh application to enable them (state prosecutors) to respond to the application opposing the new charges against Mwendwa.
Mwendwa insists the new move to charge him is an affront to his constitutional rights.
Ms Onunga asked the court to take judicial notice that Mwendwa that did not attend court despite having been served with summons by the Investigating officer from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI).
The prosecutor stated the high court is yet to issue any conservatory orders quashing the fresh bid to charge Mwendwa.
Onunga also told Rading she is aware Mwendwa has filed another case at the high court seeking to thwart the new theft case.
Giving directions, Rading ordered Mwendwa to serve the new application to the DPP to enable the DPP respond to the issues he has raised.
“In view of the fact the DPP learnt of the fresh application while in court today, I hereby direct the defence lawyers to avail a copy of the fresh application by Mwendwa to respond. l list this fresh preliminary objection to the fresh theft charges for hearing October 12, 2022,” ruled Rading.
Meanwhile, the Kiambu High Court will hear on October 4, 2022 the case seeking to stop the DPP from charging Mwendwa with theft of Sh38million from FKF coffers.
Through lawyers Mutua and Njenga, Mwendwa has asked the superior court to intervene and curtail the director of public prosecutions from abusing the court process through alleged “forum shopping”
“I have already suffered and I will continue to suffer irreparable prejudice, loss and damage should this Honourable Court not intervene to remedy the infractions of law being meted against me,” Mwendwa states in an affidavit in support of the fresh court action.
Mwendwa is therefore asking the high court Kiambu to reinstate earlier orders granted by Justice Esther Maina stopping the DPP from arresting him and charging him with theft of Sh38million from FKF.
Mutua and Njenga say on July 5,2022, the DPP had urged Nyuttu to adjourn the case to October 2022 to enable him to study fresh evidence arising from a probe committee appointed by Sports CS Amina Mohammed on the expenditure of FKF funds.
Mutua says the DPP had been ordered to supply Mwendwa with documentary and witness statements in the Sh38million conspiracy case against the FKF president.
“The DPP did not comply with the court’s order to supply defence with evidence,” Mutua discloses in the Kiambu High Court case filed under a certificate of urgency.
Mutua has further disclosed to the Kiambu High Court that the DPP applied to withdraw the case against Mwendwa under Section 87(a) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) for lack of evidence.
Mwendwa was discharged and is now a freeman.
Mwendwa woes arose from a report by a caretaker committee appointed by Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed to probe the expenditure of FKF funds during the youthful administrator’s watch.
In November 2021, Amina disbanded FKF and appointed a caretaker committee.