Somalilandsun – A British court has found Nicholas Smith and Christopher Smith, of the Smith and Ouzman company, guilty in the case of the Kenyan Chickengate scandal. The two will be sentenced in February.
The then IIEC chairman Isaack Hassan, Energy CS Davis Chirchir and CEO James Oswago were mentioned in court but they have all denied involvement in the bribes amounting to Sh50 million.
No one was keen to talk after the verdict at Southwark Crown Court.
A spokesperson from the company however said: “This has been a difficult four years for the company. Because sentencing is still pending it is not appropriate to make any further comment. Our focus now is on continuing to deliver an excellent service to our loyal customers.”
SFO (Serious Fraud Office) had charged Smith and Ouzman (S&O), a printing company based in Eastbourne UK, with paying bribes to IEBC and KNEC officials totalling £433,062.98 in order to win business contracts and at ensure repeat business.
The company was charged alongside two of its directors, one employee and an agent.
SFO alleged that the offences took place between November 2006 and December 2010. The case dubbed the Chickengate scandal started on November 10, 2010 at the London court.
SFO also alleged that the defendants used inflated commission payments to overseas agents to mask bribes that were to be passed on to public officials involved in the awarding of contracts for printing ballot papers and certificates.
The company’s International Sales Manager, Tim Forrester, and its agent in Somaliland were acquitted in the state’s case.
Defendants, S&O, Former Chairman Chris Smith (70), Marketing Director Nick Smith (42), Forrester (45) and the Somaliland agent Abdirahman (37), were cross examined by the prosecution against the evidence given by SFO.
The prosecution alleged that the largest bung was £337,993 which the SFO believes was paid by S&O to their agent in Kenya Trevy James Oyombra to pay corrupt officials at the IIEC.
During the cross examination, the prosecution alleged that the sum was agreed upon by the defendants and paid to the officials by Trevy out of his £380,859 commission of £1.4 Million.
The transactions took place for a period of 18 months and email exchanges between Trevy Oyombra and Nick Smith were read in Court.
BY JULIUS MBALUTO IN LONDON
Source: The Star