Anti-graft body clears IEBC boss Ahmed Issack Hassan in chickengate scam

The Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission has cleared Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Chair Ahmed Issack Hassan over the chickengate scandal in which 50 million shillings was paid out as bribes to the then poll officials.

EACC, however, recommended that criminal charges be proffered against the alleged mastermind of the scam, Trevy Oyombra, former IEBC CEO James Oswago, and two former procurement officials.

EACC said it has evidence of criminal culpability on the part of four persons allegedly involved in the Ksh 52 million bribery scam dubbed chickengate and has, therefore, recommended criminal charges.

A four-year investigation by UK’s Serious Fraud Unit of deals involving UK Firm Smith & Ouzman executives revealed that the Kenyan electoral and examination officials allegedly received bribes code-named ‘chicken’ through their agent, Trevy Oyombra to receive lucrative printing tenders.

Top on the list of those who were initially being probed sacked Energy Cabinet Secretary Davis Chirchir, who then served as a commissioner at the defunct Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC), ex-IEBC CEO James Oswago, ex-Deputy CEO and former Judiciary Chief Registrar Gladys Boss Shollei and former KNEC boss Paul Wasanga.

Save for Oswago, the rest have since been cleared.

The exoneration of the former Energy Secretary Davis Chirchir also means the last of his corruption allegations link that saw him lose his seat in the Cabinet has collapsed.

Former employees believed to have been involved in the scam that saw emails exchanged between the former polls body and the UK firm were questioned and the emails were investigated as evidence.

The named ex-officials sat in tender committees that managed the procurement of ballot papers for the Bomachoge and Shinyalu by-elections and the 2010 Constitution Referendum.

Apart from conviction, the Smith & Ouzman executives were ordered to pay 244 million shillings as fine.

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Story By Jacque Maribe
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