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Nock disbandment declared illegal

Monday February 6 2017

National Olympics Committee of Kenya

National Olympics Committee of Kenya chairman Kipchoge Keino arrives for a meeting at the agency's offices in Nairobi on November 27, 2016. A court has rejected a bid to have the committee disbanded. PHOTO | MARTIN MUKANGU | NATION MEDIA GROUP  

RICHARD MUNGUTI
By RICHARD MUNGUTI
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The move by Sports Cabinet Secretary Dr Hassan Wario to disband the National Olympics Committee of Kenya (Nock) has been overturned by the high court.

Mr Justice George Odunga said decision to send packing the officials. who include, chairman Kipchoge Keino , Francis Kinyili Paul and Fridah Shiroyah was illegal , ill informed and driven by ulterior motive.

The judge, in his ruling, which has effectively reinstated the committee, said the minister lacked powers to disband the committee.

Justice Odunga said the CS had no legal authority under the Sports Act to disband the NOCK committee and replacing it with a Government agency to oversee the sports activities.

The judge ordered the minister to pay costs of the case that was filed by lawyer Edward Rombo for NOCK committee.

In his 16 page judgement , the judge agreed with Mr Rombo that the minister lacked jurisdiction to disband NOCK “which is affiliated to and recognized by the IOC, and the sole body in Kenya mandated to handle sporting affairs of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) amongst others.”

The judge said the minister did not give any cogent reasons of disbanding the Nock committee on August 25 2016 when it was supposed to organize team Kenya which shook the world at the Rio Olympic Games by storm.

“ The minister acted unreasonably and in blatant disregard of the law given that he is fully aware that his interference with the affairs of NOCK is prohibited under the Olympic Charter and which will have dire consequences and ramifications for sports in the country as Kenya will face a likely ban from the IOC,” Mr Rombo stated.

The committee informed the judge the minister acted “to shield himself from the strong public criticism he had faced for the many blunders and scandals that have marked his tenure as CS.”

The judge said the minister did not controvert the accusations levelled against him by the committee.

“ The minister has not justified his action of disbanding the committee .It is now trite that for an executive decision to be justified, it must be based on some legally recognised-provision or policy. Executive power must therefore be exercised within the lawful bounds or parameters and ought not to be misused or abused,” ruled Justice Odunga.

The judge said the case filed by the Nock members is merited befitting orders to quash the ministers decision to be granted.

“The decision to disband the National Olympics Committee of Kenya by the minister on August 25 2016 is hereby quashed with orders he pays costs,” the judge ruled.

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