DPP ‘unsure’ of Wario, Ekai fate in Rio Olympics probe

Friday February 17 2017

Sports Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario when he appeared before the Senate Labour and Social Welfare Committee on February 9, 2016. The CS told the committee that his ministry had ordered for an audit on the Football Kenya Federation accounts following the bungled Harambee Stars trip to Cape Verde in November last year. PHOTO | WILLIAM OERI |

Sports Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario when he appeared before the Senate Labour and Social Welfare Committee on February 9, 2016. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By RICHARD MUNGUTI
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Reinstated National Olympics Committee of Kenya officials have not yet resumed work as their computers were dismantled by police investigating the Sh88 million fraud which rocked Team Kenya at last year’s Rio Olympic Games, a court was told on Friday.

Meanwhile, the Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko has not made up his mind whether to file charges against the Sports Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario and his Principal Secretary Richard Ekai over the Rio mess, or to call them as State witnesses in the fraud case filed against four top Kenyan Olympics officials.

State prosecutor Duncan Ondimu apologized to defence counsel Edward Rombo, Kimutai Bosek and Julius Kitheka for not availing to them the final report on Wario and Ekai.

“I wish to apologize to Mr Rombo for not availing the report I promised on the final decision on the status of Wario and Ekai in this case, whether they are witnesses or suspects,” Ondimu said.

He added that the indecision by the DPP has been occasioned by the delay by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations in finalizing investigations against the PS and CS.

Earlier investigations said there was ground for both Wario and Ekai to be charged over the loss of the Sh88 million.

While asking the prosecution to supply all the witness statements, Rombo sought clarification from the DPP whether Wario was still a State witness or a suspect “since his recorded statement had not been availed to the defence lawyers.”

Justice Charity Oluoch, sitting at the Milimani Law Courts, was told that all Nock officials who were reinstated by Justice George Odunga last week have not resumed work since police dismantled and took away all the computers, scanners and files in an investigation ordered by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

During the New Year’s address to the nation, President Kenyatta said he was following up the Rio scandal personally and that those found culpable would be prosecuted.

While agitating for the status of Wario and Ekai to be known, Rombo said Nock officials Stephen Soi, Bernard Ekumbo, Pius Ochieng and Francis Kinyili Paul want to prepare their defences but cannot because “all statements have not been supplied to them.”

Oluoch heard that the reinstated Nock officials, headed by athletics legend Kipchoge Keino (chairman), Francis Kinyili Paul (secretary) and Fridah Shiroyah (treasurer) have experienced difficulties because police disabled all the computers making it “difficult to submit any reports to the International Olympics Committee.”

The Nock board was reinstated last week by Justice Odunga who said the decision by Wario to disband them was illegal, ill-informed and driven by ulterior motive.

Oluoch ordered the case to be mentioned on February 24, 2017, for the DPP to state whether he will treat Wario as a witness or a suspect in the case.