NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 21 – Anti-graft agency officials have been directed to submit the comprehensive United Kingdom Serious Fraud Office (SFO) report on the ‘Chickengate’ scandal to Parliament.
Joint Parliamentary Select Committee probing allegations against the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) ordered Ethic and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) vice chairperson Sophia Lepuchirit and CEO Halakhe Waqo to table the official documents that would buttress the case to send the current IEBC Chairperson and eight commissioners home.
The MPs through co-chairs Kiraitu Murungi and James Orengo said they wanted to the Committee to acquaint itself with the British government report which had been sent to the Attorney-General naming Commissioners and Tender Committee members who allegedly received money from security printing firm Smith & Ouzman to help it win a ballot paper printing tender.
“For your own interest the AG, was before us, and he says, he passed on to you the document which he is willing to bring here. He didn’t see any legal impediments towards seeing those documents; so in case there are considerations of a legal kind, the AG has already spoken to this matter,” Orengo stated.
“The material you used to make the ruling yesterday let them be attached to the memorandum so that the members can also see it. Since you have finished with those documents we want that file the way you received from the Attorney General,” Murungi asserted.
“If there are allegations which you have received, even the one we don’t know about please bring them to us during your presentation”.
The scandal involving officials of the defunct Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC) and the Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC), who allegedly received bribes from Smith & Ouzman in exchange for a multi-million shilling contract to print ballot papers, has been under investigation for the last two years.
The anti-graft body on Tuesday exonerated IEBC chairman Issack Hassan from corruption allegations in the Chickengate scandal.
However, the anti-graft body recommended criminal charges against former IEBC Chief Executive Officer James Oswago, Trevy Oyombra the alleged mastermind of the scandal, Hamida Ali Kibwana and Kenneth Karani.
The EACC said it found evidence of criminal culpability on the part of the four persons.
Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko said his office would independently review the EACC report and make a decision based on the facts, evidence and the law.
Nicholas Charles Smith, 43, who was Smith & Ouzman Sales and Marketing Director, was jailed for three years by a British Court for bribing IIEC and KNEC officials to win printing contracts.
Smith’s father, Christopher John Smith, 71, the chairman of the company, got an 18-month suspended term for his role in the scandal in which top electoral commission and KNEC officials pocketed millions.