Tobiko to announce fate of Sports CS Wario over Rio scam

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By RICHARD MUNGUTI
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The fate of Sports Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario who is at the centre of a multimillion scam that rocked the August 2016 Olympic team will be decided by Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko, a Nairobi court was told on Tuesday.

Also to know his fate when Mr Tobiko announces his decision will be Principal Secretary Richard Ekae.

State prosecutor Duncan Ondimu told Milimani Law Courts chief magistrate Francis Andayi that immediately Mr Tobiko receives the investigation report from the Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) Ndegwa Muhoro he will make “a decision whether to prosecute them or treat them as prosecution witnesses against the four Nock officials charged with theft of over Sh23.9million and games kit.”

Mr Ondimu was responding to concerns by lawyers Edward Rombo, Kimutai Bosek and Moreen Okoth defending top National Olympics Committee of Kenya (Nock) officials who were charged afresh over Rio OIympic team financial and uniform scandal.

Mr Ondimu had told the court last year that Mr Wario and Mr Ekale were being treated as state witnesses but changed gears when he was asked by Mr Rombo to supply him with their recorded statements.

“We want to know whether Mr Wario and Mr Ekale are still state witnesses and if so let the prosecution supply us with their statements,” Mr Rombo who is defending Pius Ochieng stated.

Last month it was recommended that Mr Wario and Mr Ekale be charged over the loss of about Sh80 million from the ministry during the games.

The same position was shared by Mr Bosek who is defending the chief de mission of the Kenyan team to the Rio Olympics Stephen Kiptanui Soi who was charged with stealing a total of Sh23,980,000 on July 20, 2016.

Other officials charged alongside Arap Soi are Mr Ochieng, former deputy de mission of the Rio olympics team Bernard Kaburi Ekumbo and Mr Francis Kinyili Paul.

In Tuesday’s fresh charges that were vehemently opposed by defence lawyers Cliff Ombeta and Samson Nyaberi for Mr Ekumbo, Mr Soi faced four charges of theft of Sh23,980,000 while Mr Ekumbo was accused of conspiring to steal Sh1,050,000 which he has since returned to the government.

Mr Kinyili and Mr Ochieng denied that they fraudulently appropriated uniforms for athletes donated by Nike Company to be used during the games.

They were accused of committing the fraud on diverse dates — between June 1 and July 31, last year — at Nock offices at Plaza 2000 building within Nairobi County.

Arap Soi faced another charge of failing to report conveyance of monetary instruments to authorised officers at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to wit conveyance of $234,000 out of Kenya during his Brazil trip in accordance with the law.

The case against the four top Nock officials will be mentioned on February 17 for the DPP to state whether he will charge Mr Wario and Mr Ekale or he will still treat them as prosecution witnesses.

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