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Kenya Olympics chiefs quizzed, spend second night in police custody

By Rogers Eshitemi and Graham Kajilwa | August 28th 2016 at 10:37:40 GMT +0300

National Olympic Committee of Kenya Secretary General Francis K Paul with NOCK Assistant Treasurer Stephen arap Soi. Olympic chiefs spent a second night in police cells after their dramatic night time arrest on Friday, and several hours of interrogation. (PHOTO: COURTESY)

Olympic chiefs spent a second night in police cells after their dramatic night time arrest on Friday, and several hours of interrogation.

National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) Secretary General Francis K Paul, Chief Executive Officer James Chacha and Rio Games Chef de Mission Stephen arap Soi were among those questioned by police yesterday.

Soi and Chacha were arrested on Friday night at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport by officials from the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) moments after they arrived from Rio de Janeiro.

The three are being probed after it emerged that some kit that should have been given to athletes had gone missing, amidst claims that the team was mismanaged and players allowances provided by the government were not paid.

Yesterday Sports Principal Secretary Richard Ekai also gave a statement to investigators at the DCI headquarters along Kiambu Road in Nairobi.

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And as the interrogation was going on, the DCI officers raided NOCK offices at the 2000 Plaza on Mombasa Road, where they recovered cartons containing Team Kenya uniforms for RioOlympic Games.

DCI Director Ndegwa Muhoro said Soi and Paul, who had been questioned on Friday, are the main focus of their investigations and may be charged in court tomorrow.

“They are our main focus for now and will probably be charged with a number of offences. We are investigating the issue of missing kits and claims by athletes that they were not paid their allowances,” said Muhoro.

He said the kits recovered at the 2000 Plaza will be used as exhibits. They include jumpers, sweatpants, caps, swimming costumers and other training and competition kits.

“Ekai was among those questioned by police but has been allowed to go home. The rest will spend another night in custody as we continue with our investigations. We are looking into the Sports Act and the complaints raised by the athletes before preferring charges, which may include abuse of office,” said Muhoro.

By yesterday, the chairman of the National Olympic Committee had still not issued a statement about the team’s handing in Rio de Janiero.

Repeated telephone calls to Mr Keino’s phone went unanswered, while workers at his shop in Eldoret town said he had not appeared since the team returned from Brazil this week.

NOCK was disbanded the Sports Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario last week following the Olympic debacle but its members have continued to defend their actions.

Paul said last week that the team’s performance was an improvement from its showing at the London Olympic Games.

“This is an event where Kenya managed to win six gold medals, six silver and one bronze medal and we are still blamed for a poor performance. People should look at the performance in terms of personal and team achievement and avoid the sideshows that are aimed at blaming the wrong people,” said Paul.

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