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Court Declares Nock Disbandment Illegal

NOC-K President Kipchoge Keino. NOCK disbandment declared Illegal

The decision by Sports Cabinet Secretary Dr Hassan Wario to disband the National Olympics Committee of Kenya (Nock) has been reviewed by the high court.

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

The judge in his ruling 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 a Government agency replacing to oversee the sports activities.

The judge further ordered the CS to pay costs of the case that was filed by lawyer Edward Rombo on behalf NOCK committee.

In his 16 page judgment, the judge concurred 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 added the minister did not give any concrete 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 CS acted unreasonably and in 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 severe consequences and ramifications for sports in Kenya. Probably the nation can face a likely ban from the IOC,” Mr Rombo stated.

The committee informed the judge that the minister acted “to defend himself from the strong public criticism he faced for a number of blunders and scandals that have dominated his tenure as CS.”

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

“The cabinet secretary 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 recognized-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 ignore the minister’s decision to be granted.

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