FKF boss Mwendwa granted Sh7m bond

Magistrate sets Wednesday for ruling on whether suspect will be held for 14 more days pending probe

In Summary
  • Prosecution said Mwendwa would influence investigations if set free. 
  • He was arrested last week Friday over mismanagement of public funds disbursed to the federation by state.
FKF president Nick Mwendwa at a magistrate's court at the Milimani law court in Nairobi on Monday, November 15, 2021
EMBATTLED: FKF president Nick Mwendwa at a magistrate's court at the Milimani law court in Nairobi on Monday, November 15, 2021

Beleaguered FKF president Nick Mwendwa on Monday secured a vital victory for his freedom after a magistrate granted him a Sh7 million bond.

Mlimani senior resident magistrate Wandia Nyamu granted Mwendwa an alternative cash bail of Sh4 million pending a ruling on Wednesday whether he should be detained for 14 days until investigations are complete.

Mwendwa was last week Friday arrested over mismanagement of public funds disbursed to the federation by the government.

The state cited fictitious withdrawals amounting to Sh29,502,302 and money transfers of Sh8.5 million wired to private bank accounts including that of Mwendwa.

He was arraigned on Monday with detectives asking the court to allow them hold the suspect for 14 more days pending completion of investigations.

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 staff were potential witnesses.

"There is real apprehension that he is likely to influence collection and intimidate the said 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 on public interest hence the need for a thorough probe.

But Mwendwa's lawyers led by Tom 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.

Nyamu said she will rule on the prosecution application on Wednesday but directed that Mwendwa be released on a bond of Sh7 million with an alternative cash bail of Sh4 million.

She directed Mwendwa to stay away from FKF offices with no access to federation employees pending the Wednesday ruling. 

The court also directed Mwendwa not to address the media and not to attend all football activities.

Earlier, the state had claimed detectives were unable to complete their investigations between the time of arrest on Friday till Mwendwa's arraignment. He had been held at the Gigiri police station.

In an affidavit sworn by investigating officer Moses Mnangat, police said Mwendwa ought to be detained to allow them obtain documents from Football Kenya Federation and to obtain documents from 14 FKF bank accounts.

They also said the time would enable them record statements from various witnesses.

Lawyer John Khaminwa acting on Mwendwa's behalf, said the state had to set free his client or risk Fifa ban for interference with football management.

"Football is managed by private individuals like Mwendwa. The state has no stake whatsoever. Mwendwa has to be free. In default, there will be consequences," Khaminwa said in reference to the potential ban from the world football governing body.

Mutua said the arrest and request to detain Mwendwa was made in bad faith. 

"Even if there are compelling reasons to detain the respondent but the state fails to demonstrate that the arrest and detention is in good faith, then the application must collapse," Mutua said.

Senior counsel Tom Ojienda said Mwendwa ought to be set free because he had not been made aware of his crime.

He said arresting a suspect then seeking to detain him pending further investigations was an illegality.


-Edite by SKanyara

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