NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 15 – Independent and Electoral Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairman Issack Hassan is urging Kenyans to wait for the outcome of an investigation on the ‘chicken’ scandal instead of speculating.
Hassan, who has denied involvement in the corrupt deals, said it is only fair to wait for the investigations report instead of judging him and other commissioners because they are not on trial in any court of law.
“I was not and I am not on trial in the UK Courts. Like any other citizen of this country, I am entitled to the presumption of innocence guaranteed by the constitution until proved otherwise. I will be accorded the opportunity to face any accusers and defend myself in accordance with the laws of Kenya,” he said, and equally defended fellow commissioners.
Hassan and other IEBC commissioners and officials are accused of having received bribes from two top executives of a UK printing firm Smith and Ouzman who were convicted last week.
Hassan however, denies the allegations saying the cases the two were facing were corrupt deals committed long before the electoral commission was formed.
“In sentencing the officials of Smith and Ouzman printing firm, the courts in UK said that the period during which the offences occurred was between 1 November 2006 and 31 December 2010. IEBC came into office in November 2011,” Hassan said in a statement issued on Saturday.
He has assured Kenyans that the commission is fully cooperating with the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission (IEBC) which is investigating the matter.
“I EBC is helping the anti-corruption authorities with the investigations on these allegations. It is our hope that outcome will clear the air on the matter once for all,” he said, adding “Just because I hold the position of chairman does not mean I am not entitled to fair and accurate comment. It has even been suggested that since the officials of Smith and Ouzman have been sentenced by the UK courts for corruption, we should also be guilty without trial. There is no law that works on such a cut and paste presumptions.”
The Southwark Crown Court jailed two officials of S&O printing firm found guilty of bribing IIEC officials.
Nicholas Smith and his father Christopher will serve about three years in jail for their involvement in the corruption scandal involving top managers of the then IIEC.
Hassan, former IEBC Chief Executive Officer James Oswago, former commissioner and currently Energy Secretary Davis Chirchir are among former IIEC officials named in the scam.
Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko on Friday said he is ready to handle the matter once the EACC completes the investigation.