Police prefer four charges against but Boss Mwendwa declines to take plea
The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) has preferred four corruption charges against embattled Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Chief Nick Mwendwa declines to take plea on Monday.
Mwendwa appeared before Anti-Corruption Court Senior Principal Magistrate Eunice Nyutu on Monday afternoon after spending a weekend behind bars for the second time.
The football supremo was arrested on Friday evening as he left his house along Kiambu Road and spent the weekend under interrogation by the DCI while locked up at the Gigiri Police Station.
He was supposed to take plea on fresh charges on Monday, but turned down the option.
“They have been in violation of the constitution in particular Article 47 and article 50. We are objecting to plea taking on the grounds that the entire process has been a violation of his rights,” his lawyer Erick Mutua told the court.
The defence was dismayed at the manner in which their client was handled, having been arrested less than 24 hours after prosecution failed to press charges against him after his first arrest on November 12.
The Court will rule on whether the charge sheet will be admitted or not on Tuesday afternoon.
According to the charge sheet presented before the court, Mwendwa has been pressed with three charges of fraudulent acquisition of public property and one count of conspiracy to commit an offence of corruption.
All these totals to approximately Sh38mn. The alleged offences took place on March 4, 2021, May 6 2021, April 16 2021 and May 15 2021. All these are related to transactions allegedly shown by a report from the Sports Registrar’s team that was given the mandate to audit the Federation.
Mwendwa has been on record several times stating that all allegations levelled against him are untrue and that this has turned out to be a fight between the Cabinet Secretary of Sports and himself.
The tribulations of the football chief started early this month when CS Amina formed a caretaker committee to run the Federation upon recommendation from a committee she had set up to probe its finances.
The Committee in its report alleged gross misappropriation of funds forwarded to the Federation from the Ministry, including alleged fictitious withdrawals from the Federation accounts and transfers to Mwendwa’s personal accounts.
Amina invoked her powers under the Sports Act to form a caretaker committee, chaired by retired Chief Justice Aaron Ringera.
The Committee went on to halt league action with Mwendwa coming out to quash the appointments saying it was illegal and vowed to stay put.
He was arrested on November 12 where he spent the weekend behind bars before being released on a Sh4mn cash bail. Last week, when the matter came up for mention, the Prosecution saying they were closing the file on Mwendwa without preferring charges.
He was released and his cash bail reimbursed, but just a day later was re-arrested and presented to Court yesterday.
Meanwhile, Kenya is staring at the possibility of a FIFA ban if the Government does not put up a solid case against Mwendwa and CS Amina maintains her Committee.
The World Football Governing body has already written two letters, one to the CEO Barry Otieno and another from FIFA SG Fatma Samoura to CS Amina Mohamed, reiterating that whatever actions had been taken amount to government interference.