City tycoon Paul Ndung’u has filed more supplementary affidavits with the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) in a fresh battle over the control of the multibillion-shilling SportPesa brand.
Ndung’u has already filed a petition before JSC seeking the removal of the Mombasa-based Court of Appeal Judge, Pauline Nyamweya over her handling of the SportPesa case when she served at the High Court.
According to Ndung’u he alleges somebody at the Judiciary was involved in backdating an application with an intention to concoct reasons that were used to determine a case.
This has forced Ndung’u to file a petition before JSC seeking the removal of the Mombasa-based Court of Appeal Judge Pauline Nyamweya over her handling of the SportPesa case when she served at the High Court.
It was during the court battles over the control of the sporting betting firm that Ndung’u claims that some records were falsified.
The latest unfolding is part of a fierce battle for the control of billions of shillings that are generated through the SportPesa platform annually.
Sportpesa was previously owned by Pevans East Africa, which has come out as one of the most successful betting firms in Africa.
However, Sportpesa lost its betting platform to Milestone Games Ltd, which is run by SportPesa CEO, Ronald Karauri.
Karauri is currently vying for the Kasarani parliamentarian seat in the fast-approaching August polls.
In his new filing, Ndung’u claims Justice Nyamweya relied on materials whose dates had been backdated, which found the Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB) guilty of contempt of court.
The reason being the failure to give Milestone Games Ltd a bookmarker off-the-course licence to operate betting services using the SportPesa platform.
Ndung’u alleges that the court filing was done on December 3, 2020 according to court receipt records and as such there was no valid application dated December 2, 2020.
The former chairman is using this new information to claim that the judge used the ‘inaccurate false word’ of the General Manager of Milestone Games Ltd to reach her conclusion.
Ndung’u now argues that the judge by her rulings allowed Milestone Games to continue ‘their illegal and fraudulent ways to the detriment’ of Pevans East Africa.
SportPesa was set up by Bulgarian operators back in 2014 alongside Karauri, a businessman, and billionaire Paul Ndung’u, who was to provide initial capital.
Nevertheless, a row over capital flight, tax arrears and shareholding led to the ouster of Ndung’u, who is now fighting the loss of the SportPesa platform.
A week ago, BCLB cleared 11 betting companies to get licences for the financial year 2022/2023.
In a letter to the Communications Authority of Kenya CEO, Ezra Chiloba dated July 4, BCLB Chairman, Cyrus Maina said that the companies had been scrutinised and were eligible to get the licences.
Maina copied the letter to Interior CS Fred Matiang’i and ICT CS Joe Mucheru requesting for enforcement.
However, the name Sportpesa was missing in the list of the 11 companies cleared to operate within the borders of Kenya.
The government is currently reviewing licenses of all betting firms for the 2022/23 financial year and has only cleared 11 out of the 100 that were operating in the year ended June.
Safaricom’s M-Pesa remains the most dominant mobile money platform used to send money for betting.
The recent move by CA underlines the impact that cancellation of the pay bill will have on the gaming firms.
Gamblers spent Sh169.1 billion to bet through M-Pesa in the year ended March, up from Sh136billion a year earlier.
The CA order adds to the government crackdown on the betting industry, which has featured increased taxation and deregistration of non-compliant companies.