PS Okudo quizzed for four hours over Oregon scandal
Sports Principal Secretary Joe Okudo was on Monday grilled by detectives for more than four hours over the Oregon scandal in which he is said to have facilitated some joyriders to travel for the games.
Okudo was interviewed by detectives attached to the Economic and Commercial Crimes Unit (ECCU) of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) as reports emerged that at least three members of his family may have been part of the joyriders.
Detectives are trying to verify claims that Okudo’s wife and two daughters who happened to have travelled together with Team Kenya to the World Athletics Championships in Oregon, US in June may have been sponsored by the taxpayer.
Six other senior officials from the Ministry’s procurement, human resource and accounts are also said to have been questioned alongside Okudo.
Okudo is said to have arrived at Mazingira House, the DCI headquarters at around 9.30 am and left some minutes after 2pm.
Though details of Okudo’s session with detectives were scanty, sources said he was questioned over details of budget estimates and approval for Oregon 2022 world athletics championships, payment vouchers in respect to allowances paid to athletes and Central Management officials who were approved to take part in the sports. He is also said to have been questioned on payment list of overseas allowances for Team Kenya, procurement and approval of air tickets and the list of qualified athletics in each event forwarded by Athletics Kenya.
In a letter summoning him to the DCI headquarters, ECCU head Mike Muia had asked Okudo to provide a list of all persons who were facilitated to Oregon to participate in championship, letters requesting for visa facilitation for the team and a list of names forwarded to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for visas.
Muia declined to comment on the matter. Sources intimated that investigators believe that all the persons in the entourage to Oregon were fully catered for by the government and are now seeking to establish the reasons behind the payments made and the roles each played.
Though initial reports had indicated that around 32 officials from the Ministry, Sports Kenya and Athletics Kenya travelled to Oregon as joyriders, the number is said to have been more. The Ministry alone is said to have produced at least 15 people.
Sources said most of the persons included in the trip had nothing to do with the athletics competition.