Nock boss Ekumbo arrested, Nike kit seized in dramatic raid

National Olympics Committee-Kenya (Nock) Second Vice-Chairman, Ben Ekumbo was dramatically dragged from under his bed and later arrested on Monday when Directorate of Criminal Investigation officers raided his Nairobi apartment and confiscated cartons of Nike kit.

The CID pounced on Ekumbo who was also the Deputy Chef-de-Misson for Team Kenya for the Rio 2016 Olympics and interrogated him after breaking into his apartment located in the Westlands area of Nairobi before taking him away to custody at their headquarters after loading bales of kit that included running and swimming gear into their vehicle.

Ekumbo who is the Kenya Swimming Federation (KSF) president is likely to be arraigned in court on Tuesday becoming the fifth Nock official to be arrested in the ongoing investigations to the Rio 2016 Games scandal.

Sasa nani amewaita hapa (Now, who has called you here)?,” the Nock boss muttered to reporters as he was being led away.

Ekumbo deputised Head of Mission Stephen Soi at the Summer Games in Brazil that were shrouded by controversy before, during and after over embezzlement of funds, theft of team kit and mistreatment of Team Kenya athletes who went on to post their best ever performance, winning six gold, six silver and a bronze.

Citizen Digital established, three plainclothes officers arrived at the apartment block at around 10am local time (+3GMT) and tried to convince Ekumbo to open the door to the first floor house without success.

 

Part of the kit confiscated from the Nairobi apartment of Nock vice-president and Team Kenya Deputy Head of Mission, Ben Ekumbo. PHOTO/Charity Wanja
Part of the kit confiscated from the Nairobi apartment of Nock vice-president and Team Kenya Deputy Head of Mission, Ben Ekumbo. PHOTO/Charity Wanja

They then called for reinforcements and that is when they broke into the house with Ekumbo refusing to emerge or open the other doors to the rooms even after the front door was torn down.

In what played out like an American SWAT team operation, the officers went on to force their entry into other parts of the apartment where they found Ekumbo- who lives alone except for occasional visits by a daughter according to neighbours-crouched under his bed.

He then sat on his couch pensively as the officers ransacked the apartment and counted the items from the boxes containing the kit in his house.

Some officers then interrogated him as their colleagues loaded the cartons of kit into their vehicle before leading the visibly shaken official who was dressed in a black fleece jacket, dark t-shirt, white cap and leather shoes had to be assisted to lock his home as he was led away to custody.

Ekumbo’s arrest is the latest twist into the ongoing investigations into the scandal ordered by President Uhuru Kenyatta as Ekumbo became the fifth Nock official to be arrested over the scam.

Soi, Nock First Vice-Chairman Pius Ochieng and Secretary General; Francis K. Paul are out on bail after being charged with offenses related to what is known as the Fiasco in Rio with the prosecution withdrawing charges against Treasurer Fridah Shiroya who is now a State witness.

During a probe hearing of the Parliamentary Departmental Committee of Labour and Social Welfare into the scandal on September 7, Ekumbo

Ekumbo accused his colleague Soi of withdrawing Ksh25m from the Ministry of Sport, Arts and Culture and also carrying a similar amount in cash in US dollars to Brazil behind the back of the rest of the executive.

 

 

The KSF boss has also come under fire from stakeholders for the way he was running the sport having been embroiled in controversy over the selection of the two Kenyan swimmers who represented Kenya at the Rio 2016 Olympics.

-Additional reporting by Bernard Ndong, Viola Cheronoh and Mutwiri Mutuota