INTIMIDATE WITNESSES

Mwendwa rearrested a day after court closed detention file

FKF president questioned as part of the ongoing probe into claims of corruption and mismanagement of public funds

In Summary
  • He was driving along Kiambu road towards the central business district when his car was blocked by detectives.
  • Police said their probe was ongoing and that there was miscommunication that led to Mwendwa release on Thursday.
FKF President Nick Mwendwa being escorted to an anti-corruption court on November 15, 2021.
FKF President Nick Mwendwa being escorted to an anti-corruption court on November 15, 2021.
Image: ENOS TECHE

Suspended FKF president Nick Mwendwa was on Friday arrested again, just a day after the court closed a file in which DCI sought his detention.

Mwendwa was arrested and taken to Directorate of Criminal Investigations headquarters along Kiambu road where he was questioned as part of the ongoing probe into claims of corruption and mismanagement of public funds at the Football Kenya Federation.

He was driving along Kiambu road towards the central business district when his car was blocked by detectives.

Mwendwa’s lawyer Tom Ojienda arrived at the DCI headquarters moments after.

Police said their probe was ongoing and that there was miscommunication that led to Mwendwa release on Thursday.

FKF chief executive Barry Otieno confirmed the embattled federation boss had been re-arrested.

Mwendwa was first arrested on Friday November 12 and spent that weekend behind bars before being arraigned at the Milimani law courts on Monday November 15.

Police had sought to have the suspect detained for 14 days pending probe into allegations of mismanagement of public funds.

Prosecutor Evelyn Onunga said police were yet to complete their probe and that releasing Mwendwa on bond would compromise the investigations.

She said being the president of FKF, Mwendwa was in a position of authority and influence over the federation.

He could influence FKF staff who take directions from him. Onunga said FKF employees were potential witnesses.

"There is real apprehension that he is likely to influence collection and intimidate the witnesses if released," Onunga said.

Onunga said detectives were yet to get some documents vital to the probe and which were in Mwendwa's office. She said the matter was of great public interest hence the need for a thorough probe.

But Mwendwa's lawyers led by Ojienda and Eric Mutua tore into the claims, saying the state had not provided compelling reasons to detain their client.

Mutua said the claims by the prosecutor did not meet the threshold for pre-trial detention.

"By all imagination, that can't amount to a compelling reason," Mutua said.

Resident magistrate Wandia Nyamu in her ruling granted Mwendwa a Sh4 million bail with an alternative bond of Sh7 million.

Last week Wednesday, the judge extended Mwendwa’s bond terms and asked the state to prefer charges against the suspect failure to which the file would stand closed.

On Thursday, the DPP informed the court that it was not ready with the charges against Mwendwa.

“We seek to close the file as our team proceeds with probing the case at our own pace before we prefer charges against him," Onunga said during a virtual appearance.

Nyamu allowed the application by the DPP and ordered the matter closed.

 

-Edited by SKanyara