I never ate ‘chicken’ – IEBC boss Issack Hassan

I never ate 'chicken' - IEBC boss Issack Hassan

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairman Ahmed Issack Hassan has denied receiving a bribe from British printing firm Smith and Ouzman to award them ballot paper printing tenders in the infamous ‘chicken-gate’ scam.

Hassan was speaking after appearing before Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission (EACC) detectives at the Integrity Centre where he was questioned over the 50 million shilling bribery claims.

The IEBC boss insists the UK Court convicted two of the company’s directors for intention to bribe Kenyan poll and examinations council KNEC officials and not for actually bribing them.

Hassan, who headed the defunct Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC) at the time the scandal is said to have taken place, blamed the media for allegedly publishing inconclusive information on the tender scam and the UK case.

This is the second time Hassan was being grilled by the anti-graft body.

The Directors of the British Company Smith and Ouzman have already been arraigned in court and fined, but back here, action is yet to be taken against the perpetrators of the vice.

Hassan has previously dismissed calls to resign over the graft allegations in the ballot papers printing tender.

Early January, Smith and Ouzman, the UK firm directors were found guilty of bribing Kenyan election and examinations council officials to win tenders, and were ordered to pay 200 million shillings by a London court.

The court directed the firm to pay a fine of 146 million and a further 97 million shillings to satisfy a confiscation order or have its assets seized.

The firm will further pay 2.8 million shillings in costs relating to the case in which officials paid nearly 50 million shillings in bribes to Kenyan officials.

The order followed a four-year investigation by UK’s Serious Fraud Office that revealed Kenyan officials received the bribes code-named ‘chicken’ through their agent Trevy Oyombra.

Top on the list of those who allegedly received bribes from Smith & Ouzman include sacked Energy Cabinet Secretary Davis Chirchir, who then served as a commissioner at IEBC, Ex-CEO James Oswago, ex-deputy CEO and former Judiciary Chief Registrar Gladys Boss Shollei and former KNEC Boss Paul Wasanga.

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Maureen Murimi
Story By Maureen Murimi
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