NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 19 – The Chairman of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Issack Hassan has told detectives at the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission (EACC) that he did not eat ‘chicken’ in the unfolding multi-million shilling election materials tender scandal, which has seen two people jailed in the UK.
Hassan, who appeared before investigators on Thursday morning, said he is innocent and accused a section of the media of misreporting the alleged scandal.
At the end of the grilling session at Integrity Centre, Hassan told reporters that he was confident of being vindicated.
“I am impressed by the professionalism that I have seen with (EACC) officers unlike what I have seen in the media…the trial by the media should stop,” he stated.
“The officers are doing their investigations and I hope they will come to a very professional judgment and give the country a good report on the investigations.”
Hassan had been summoned to shed light on the scam in which officials of the defunct Interim Independent Electoral Commission are accused of having received bribes (code-named chicken) during the procurement of electoral materials.
“It is not correct to say because somebody was jailed in UK, the same should apply in Kenya here,” he stated.
“Those people have been given a fair trial, they were investigated, they gave their statement; I think it is not too much to ask from the media in Kenya to allow those who are being adversely mentioned to go through a due process and a fair trial.”
Also to be summoned by EACC detectives is Energy Cabinet Secretary Davis Chirchir who served at the interim electoral body.
He will be questioned on Friday by the EACC detectives.
Former Chief Executive Officer James Oswago is yet to receive summons over the matter but an official has confirmed to Capital FM News that Trevy Oyombra, the man said to have been the link between the UK firm and Kenya will appear next week.
The officials are accused of having received bribes from UK printing firm Smith and Ouzman whose two top executives were convicted last week.
“I was not on trial in the UK Courts. Like any other citizen of this country, I am entitled to the presumption of innocence guaranteed by the constitution until proved otherwise. I will be accorded the opportunity to face any accusers and defend myself in accordance with the laws of Kenya,” Hassan said.
“In sentencing the officials of Smith and Ouzman printing firm, the courts in UK said that the period during which the offences occurred was between 1 November 2006 and 31 December 2010. IEBC came into office in November 2011,” he pointed out.
He has assured Kenyans that the commission is fully cooperating with the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission which is investigating the matter.
The Southwark Crown Court jailed two officials of S&O printing firm found guilty of bribing IIEC officials.
Nicholas Smith and his father Christopher will serve about three years in jail for their involvement in the corruption scandal involving top managers of the then IIEC.
Opposition leader Raila Odinga has since called for the prosecution of the officials.