Nock officials want CS Wario charged for Rio fiasco

Nock officials want CS Wario charged for Rio fiasco
Francis K. Paul, the secretary general, National Olympic committee of Kenya (KNOCK) follow proceedings as Sports Cabinet Secretary Dr. Hassan Wario addresses the media in Nairobi on August 25, 2016. The CS disbanded the NOCK over the Rio Olympics fiasco. Photo/

The defence counsel of National Olympics Committee- Kenya officials facing charges in relation to the Rio 2016 fiasco questioned the absence of Cabinet Secretary for Sport, Dr. Hassan Wario and his Principal Secretary, Ambassador Richard Ekai, from the dock.

Lawyers representing Nock vice-chairman, Pius Ochieng and secretary general, Francis K Paul argued after their clients were released on Ksh200,000 bail that the top ministry brass should also be charged branding the case against their clients a ‘witchhunt’.

“This is more like a witch hunt, take or rather haul whoever it is and put them inside. The Cabinet Secretary and the Principal Secretary are not here, why have they been left out? So these are issues we are going to look at I am sure the public will, in the end, realize where the fault was,” a distraught Edward Rombo, lawyer to Ochieng, underscored.

“Honestly, the prosecution has no case against the accused; it is just the public outcry that has made them do what they are doing and in the end the evidence that will be presented will definitely shock you,” he added.

The lawyer’s accusations come with mounting calls for Wario to take full responsibility for the debacle overshadowing Team Kenya’s exemplary performance at the Summer Games.

Former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka and Budalangi MP Ababu Namwamba also joined the public in requesting President Uhuru Kenyatta to sack Wario.

The embattled CS, who disbanded Nock just a week ago, has been a man under pressure with Members of Parliament (MP) last week coming together in arms against the athletes’ mismanagement in Rio with a few questioning Wario’s role in the mess.

“We do not agree with the situation that happened there, we cannot allow the athletes to suffer while they are winning us medals. The CS must bring us a proper explanation as to why he let such things to happen in Rio. How could some of the athletes fail to access their facilities?” Emurua Dikirr MP Johanna Ng’eno Kipyegon underlined.

“It is a shame when you hear the Cabinet Secretary of Sports confessing that he has also become a victim of the cartels, how can that happen?” Nominated MP Isaac Mwaura lamented.

Speaking to Citizen Digital after Senior Magistrate Charity Olouch read the ruling to free Ochieng and Paul; Rombo welcomed the decision and was also confident that the charges leveled against his client will be dismissed.

“I believe that was the only decision the judge could have made. The prosecution wanted our clients to be locked up for 21 full days as they searched for evidence. You are supposed to conduct the investigation before you arrest somebody and arraign them in court so how come the police in Kenya do the opposite?” the lawyer insisted.

“How can you charge somebody for stealing kit that are actually in Nock’s possession? On abuse of office, these are not public officials; Nock is a private entity.

Chef-de-Mission, Stephen arap Soi’s ruling is scheduled to be delivered on Wednesday after he could not make it to the court as he was allegedly admitted to Nairobi Hospital.

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Story By Eric Kagunda
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