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Kutuny Faces Possible 6-Month Detention for Alleged Court Order Violation

The accusation comes from petitioner Justus Ngemu, who claims that Sigei and Kutuny violated court orders restraining the Board from granting licenses to Collective Management Organizations (CMOs).

Executive director Edward Sigei and board chairman Joshua Kutuny of the Kenya Copyright Board (Kecobo) may face a six-month stint in Industrial Area remand if an application to hold them accountable for allegedly flouting a court order succeeds.

The accusation comes from petitioner Justus Ngemu, who claims that Sigei and Kutuny violated court orders restraining the Board from granting licenses to Collective Management Organizations (CMOs).

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Justice Hedwig Ong’undi, on October 31, 2023, had issued a judgment prohibiting the Kenya Copyright Board from issuing licenses unless properly constituted. She further issued a permanent order preventing the Board from renewing a collective management society certificate without a legally constituted board.

Ngemu, in an application before the High Court, alleges that Sigei and Kutuny, in the absence of a properly constituted board, issued licenses to the Performers Rights Society of Kenya, Music Copyright Society of Kenya, and Kenya Association of Music Producers (Interested parties) on November 8, 2023. These licenses were set to run until December 31, 2023, in direct contradiction to Ong’undi’s orders.

According to Ngemu, this act constitutes willful and intentional disobedience of the court’s orders, and he argues that such actions undermine the court’s proceedings.

Cherangany MP Joshua Kutuny in Eldoret.Cherangany MP Joshua Kutuny in Eldoret.

He states, “The issuance of the license despite the prohibitive orders by this court amounts to willful and intentional disobedience of this court’s orders. Their actions are a ridicule to the court’s proceedings.”

Ngemu is seeking a contempt citation for the two officials and proposes their detention at Industrial Area G.K Prison in Nairobi for a duration of six months.

Justice Chacha Mwita, who is overseeing the case, directed Ngemu to serve the application to the respondents and set a deadline for response filing by November 21. However, as of the scheduled court appearance on November 21, no response had been submitted.

Justice Mwita adjourned the case to be mentioned on March 11, warning that if found to have disobeyed the court directive, judgment consequences would follow. The respondents were given a 14-day window to file their responses.

It’s noteworthy that Joshua Kutuny was recently appointed as Chair by President William Ruto and is set to hold the position for three years after assuming it in October of the current year.

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Abdul

Abdul is a journalist by profession having graduated from St.Paul University.

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