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Chicken gate scandal suspects James Oswago and Trevy Oyombra arrested, to appear in court

By CYRUS OMBATI | February 8th 2017
Former Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chief executive James Oswago. (Photo: Willis Awandu/Standard)

Former Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chief executive James Oswago and agent Trevy Oyombra were this morning arrested over Chickengate scandal.

Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) officials said the two and another official were expected in court to face various charges.

One Hamida Ali Kibwana and Kenneth Karani were being sought in their houses for processing to take plea.

Oswago and Oyombra were rounded up from their Nairobi homes by EACC officials.

EACC had exonerated former electoral chairman Issack Hassan from corruption allegations in the Chickengate scandal.

The EACC said it found evidence of criminal culpability on the part of the four persons in its report to the Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko who agreed with the recommendations.

A British government report sent to the Attorney-General had named commissioners and tender committee members who allegedly received money from Smith and Ouzman to help the firm win a ballot paper printing tender.

The commission forwarded the file on the case to the DPP in July last year.

Agent Trevy Oyombra. (Photo: Courtesy)

 “On the other hand, EACC has found no evidence of criminal culpability on the part of any other official in the then Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC),” said the commission then.

The move by EACC was a relieve to many other officials who served at both IEBC and IIEC. Several officials including Hassan, commissioner Yusuf Nzibo, Davis Chirchir and Ken Nyaundi were questioned over the scandal.

The commission is still investigating the former officials of Kenya National Examination Council.

This is in connection with a case involving IIEC and Knec officials and a British firm.

Court papers during the trial of Christopher Smith and Nicholas Smith, directors of the British firm, Smith & Ouzman, at the Southwark Crown Court named various parties in Kenya.

The particulars of the offence against the two were that between October 1, 2008, and December 2010, with Oyombra, Hamisi and Kibwana, they corruptly agreed to make payments to IIEC officials.

The IIEC officials named were Oswago, Issack, Karani, Chirchir and Nyaundi.

All the accused persons have denied receiving bribes from Oyombra as claimed in the court documents.

Britain’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) had in January 2016 handed documents detailing the scandal in which the a printing firm was accused of bribing Kenyan officials to the Attorney General.

The dossier included the data used by British authorities to jail and fine directors of a printing firm, Smith & Ouzman, for paying out bribes, code-named chicken, totaling Sh59 million to electoral and examination officials.

The data used to crack the case was retrieved from email exchanges between the printers and the Kenyan officials, shipping invoices and local purchase orders used in procurement to demonstrate their case.

Hassan has previously defended himself, saying the British officials were convicted of crimes committed a year before IEBC was formed.

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