Kenya: opposition leader Odinga dares police to arrest him for not appearing before ant-graft commission

Raila Odinga, chief opposition leader in Kenya.

Raila Odinga, chief opposition leader in Kenya.

The leader of the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD), an opposition outfit in Kenya, Raila Odinga has called the country’s police’s bluff to arrest him for failure to appear before the anti-graft body Thursday.

Odinga’s challenge to the security forces comes after the police and the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) summoned the chief opposition leader to testify before the latter Thursday to assist them in investigating the ongoing Eurobond scandal.

“Let them try to arrest me, it’s not the first time,” Raila Odinga, told the media upon receiving summons.

Odinga and his legal team say the police and the commission were “intimidating” in their summoning and that they haven’t probed the massive alleged corruption scheme that has cost taxpayers over Ksh 86 billion deeper enough so he can possibly cooperate to fill in the missing information.

“It is curious why, before exhausting these capacities, the commission has found it necessary to seek our client’s help in their investigation,” Odinga’s Attorney, Paul Mwangi said Wednesday responding to the summons.

On Wednesday the EACC had informed Raila Odinga that failure to cooperate with them might land him in legal trouble. “Be warned that failure to comply with the above requisition will render you liable to prosecution.” The summon read in part. The opposition leader and his legal team labelled the EACC letter “contemptuous and threatening.”

The Eurobond scandal revolves around the findings that more than Ksh 86 billion, part of the government proceeds from the Eurobond in 2014 was not appropriately deposited into the Exchequer Account, as per the constitution and it has  not been accounted for. The government says it kept the money at the central bank in a separate account and later transferred it to the Exchequer Account but the Comptroller of the Exchequer Account has not provided records supporting the government’s claims.

The Kenyan government has been tainted by the levels of corruption within its circles, hundreds of top government officials are being investigated, or prosecuted for corruption related cases.

During the recent visit by Pope Francis, President Uhuru Kenya asked the Holy Father to pray for him as he and his government seek to combat the scourge.