The ongoing case against former IEBC Chief Executive James Oswago today took a dramatic twist when the official who was in charge of ICT was accused of hiding information from CORD during the Supreme Court hearing.
Lawyer Paul Lilan, while cross-examining Mr Dismas Ong’ondi, the IEBC ICT Director, accused him of hiding information which may have been useful in determining the disputed March 4 presidential election.
Mr Dismas Ong’ondi took the dock in a case where Oswago and three other IEBC senior employees are on trial for interfering with procurement processes of the voters’ devices used during the last election.
“At the time you filed a replying affidavit at the presidential election petition, you had all these documents but deliberately withheld the information from the Supreme Court,” asked Lilan
The lawyer is appearing for suspended deputy commission secretary Wilson Shollei.
During the Supreme Court, ODM top strategist Oduor Ong’wen had raised the issue(through an affidavit) of a memo written by Ong’ondi which contradicted a report given by the company that was to supply the kits for the elections.
“You withheld a report from the company contracted to deliver the kits and a briefing note approving the equipment and instead gave a memo sent much earlier disapproving the purchase of the kits. How did this information reach Cord?” Mr Lilan posed.
Mr Ong’ondi refuted the claims saying that he didn’t know how the information may have leaked from the IEBC.
“I did not submit the memo. This would have amounted to there being a leakage of internal information from IEBC which is against the job professional ethics,” Mr Ong’ondi said.
His department was also accused of sabotaging other departments of the IEBC through an email sent from the chairman of IEBC Isaac Hassan asking Mr Shollei to solve the disquiet in the department.
“Why should the ICT department sabotage the boundaries department. I hope Mr Shollei you can solve this juvenile wars,” Mr Hassan’s email read.
According to Mr Ong’ondi, the chairman was misled: “The chairman reacted to that information from one point of view.”
He was also questioned on whether he wanted to create an impression that Mr Shollei was not diligent in his work by the “selective clauses” he was asked to read aloud in court by the case prosecutor.
He noted that an ad hoc committee headed by Mr James Oswago compiled the voter register and consolidated data collected all over the country.
In a previous hearing, the IEBC ICT Director had been Â at pains to explain why there was no team from his department to go for factory testing before the electronic kits were imported in the country for use during the elections.
“I am aware there was necessity for my department to send representatives to the kits company before delivery. Although there were two members selected to go for the testing, I am not aware why they did not travel,” said Mr Ong’ondi.
The case continues on March 18.