Shiroya to be State witness in Nock Rio 2016 case
The case against four National Olympics Committee-Kenya (Nock) officials on the dock over mismanagement of the country’s team to the Rio 2016 Olympics took a fresh twist on Monday when the prosecution indicated Treasurer Fridah Shiroya will be used as a State witness against her colleagues.
On Monday, Senior Principal Magistrate Martha Mutuku gave the prosecution a week to complete investigations against the officials and further exempted Shiroya from reporting twice a week to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations citing she has been co-operative.
Shiroya appeared alongside Secretary General, Francis Kinyili Paul, First Vice-Chairman, Pius Ochieng and Executive Officer, Stephen arap Soi before Nairobi’s Milimani Law Courts in a case where they are facing counts related to theft, neglect of duty and abuse of office relating to the Rio 2016 fiasco.
“I have accepted the application from the prosecution for an extension of one week since the case is of public interest. I ask Soi, Paul and Ochieng to be reporting at the CID headquarters as earlier directed (twice weekly) specifically 9 am.
“The three will be brought back on Tuesday 27 for further directions. I also dispense the reporting order for twice a week for Shiroya,” the principal magistrate said.
Lead prosecutor Duncan Ondimu told the court Shiroya has been giving valuable information to the probe while stating the rest, particularly Soi were not co-operating as required and an agreement with her lawyer, Braimoh Mburu, to save the treasurer from bi-weekly visits to the police.
Ondimu added that the prosecution is going to use her as their witness while stating lack of co-operation from Soi who was the Head of Mission of Team Kenya to Rio 2016 has been one of their greatest challenges.
“Soi, he has been reporting late to the police station, example last Friday he reported at 5pm. Your honour we request he be given a specific time to report at 9am. We believe he is withholding information since he has failed to produce documents that are vital to this investigation,” Ondimu told the court.
Kimutai Bosek who was representing Soi, Paul and Ochieng counter-argued that the prosecution was falsely accusing the respondents on lack of cooperation yet they have been barred from accessing the Nock offices and their computers claiming some of the documents in question were carted away during a police raid on their headquarters.
“My client reported late after a session from Parliament and on Friday, he reported early. He has been following the instructions to the letter.
“Secondly all respondents have been barred from accessing Nock offices. The same police officers who searched their offices and took some of the documents required. I believe the prosecution is dragging this case. Intentionally hence denying my clients’ a speedy hearing,” the defence counsel argued.
“Having come from a successful mission from Rio, the respondents are required to prepare a report on their mission and they have not done so since they cannot access their computers and documents,” Bosek added.
He was then engaged in a brief exchange of words with Ondimu who told the court that the respondents have not requested for permission to access the offices.
The Nock officials who are out on Ksh200,000 bond each were arrested following the conclusion of the Rio 2016 Olympics on August 21 following huge outcry over the poor manner the team was treated that marred their best ever performance at the Games.
Besides the maltreatment, they are also facing charges related to the disappearance of a huge chunk of the kit from sponsors Nike meant for the athletes.
A separate Parliamentary probe driven by the Committee of Labour and Social Welfare has heard from the officials about what transpired in Brazil.