- Chickengate scandal was unearthed by UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO).
- SFO is UK’s independent government department tasked with investigating and prosecuting high end fraud syndicates including bribery and corruption.
- SFO found damning evidence implicating Kenyan electoral (IIEC) and KNEC officials alongside Smith and Ouzman (S&O) executives to have been involved in bribery and procurement fraud
Key individuals suspected to have played a serious role in the Chickengate scandal were arrested on Wednesday morning.
Former Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission’s CEO James Oswago, Trevy Oyombra, Hamida Ali Kibwana and Kenneth Karani were reportedly arrested at their residential areas in Nairobi.
An angry Oswago declined to talk to journalists while at Integrity Centre this morning. He said a CEO (him) could not be solely responsible for overall misconduct of procurement laws at the electoral agency.
“There is no investigation in this”, Oswago affirmed in a video footage captured by NTV Kenya.
The arrests are tied to the infamous Chickengate scam that involved Kenyan electoral and examination officials together with executives of British firm Smith and Ouzman.
The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) in July 2016 exonerated former IEBC boss Issack Hassan from corruption allegations in the Chickengate scandal.
However, the anti-graft body recommended criminal charges against the four; James Oswago, agent Trevy Oyombra, Hamida Ali Kibwana and Kenneth Karani after finding “evidence of criminal culpability on the part of the four persons.”
GRAFT IN KENYA:
Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko had then said his “office would independently review the EACC report and make a decision based on the facts, evidence and the law.”
SFO report sent to the country’s Attorney-General office had named commissioners and tender committee members who were allegedly bribed by Smith and Ouzman to help the firm win a ballot paper printing tender.
Nicholas Charles Smith, 43 who was Smith & Ouzman Ltd sales and marketing director, was jailed for three years by a British Court in relation to the Chickengate crime.
Christopher John Smith (Smith’s father), 71 and the chairman of the company, got an 18-month suspended term for his role in the scandal in which top electoral commission (by then IIEC) and Knec officials are said to have pocketed millions of shillings.
Oswago had in an earlier interaction with the press last year accused investigative agencies of conducting a selective process that sacrificed him. “This is a case of real persecution; sacrificing an individual as catharsis for public disillusionment and anger over the outcome of the 2013 General Election. This is a case of a determination to save IEBC and its leadership by offering the former CEO as a burnt offering/sacrifice,” Mr Oswago was quoted by Nation.