NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 28 – National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) 1st Vice-Chairman Ben Ekumbo will continue spending time behind bars after his request to be released on bond was rejected on Monday.
Ekumbo, who is also the Kenya Swimming Federation Chairman, is facing charges of theft and sexual assault of minors which he has denied.
The NOCK official is accused of stealing Sh1m and kits belonging to Team Kenya for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
Last week the prosecutor told the court that Ekumbo has been sexually molesting young swimmers but the accused fought the charge saying the sex scandal happened five years ago and that abusers were investigated and punished according to the law.
Ekumbo applied to be released on bond as investigations continue but Nairobi Milimani Law Court Resident Magistrate Joyce Ngandani denied the request, saying that the offences committed were grave and he could interfere with investigations.
“If released, Ekumbo could compromise or intimidate witnesses especially in the charge of sexual molestation of kids,” the magistrate ruled.
Acknowledging that bond is a constitutional right to every person, Ngandani also questioned the ability of the accused to follow to the letter court orders should he be released on bond.
Ekumbo’s next hearing will be December 6 but at the moment he will be detained at Muthaiga Police Station.
Ekumbo, who was Team Kenya’s Deputy Head of Delegation for the Rio Olympics, is the fourth official from NOCK to be formally charged over the embarrassing scandals which tarnished Kenya’s best-ever performance at a Games.
The other NOCK officials who are facing court charges include Secretary General Francis Kinyili Paul, 2nd vice-chairman Pius Ochieng and assistant treasurer Stephen arap Soi.
Another official, Fridah Shiroya who is the treasurer, was set free after the prosecution dropped charges against her.
The kit disappearance was one of several scandals that gripped Kenya during the Summer Games where Kenya scooped 13 medals, including six gold, in its best performance at the Olympics.