5 September 2016

Kenya: Madrassa Teacher Appeals 20-Year Jail Term

A madrassa teacher has appealed a 20-year jail term handed down on him for radicalising six primary school pupils in Kilifi County.

Mr Samuel Wanjala Wabwile, alias Salim Mohamed, wants the conviction set aside.

In his court papers, the convict, who went out of the limelight after he was sentenced eight months ago, said the magistrate erred in law and facts by failing to consider that the conviction and sentence was founded on a defective charge sheet.

He said the magistrate also erred in law by admitting documentary evidence without a certificate to legitimise the manner in which it was processed.

"In addition, the learned magistrate erred in law by failing to consider the sharp contradictions in the evidence adduced by the prosecution witnesses," he said in his appeal papers.

On January 7, 2016, Shanzu Senior Principal Magistrate Diana Mochache handed Wabwile 20 years imprisonment after he was found guilty of the offence.

While sentencing the man, the magistrate stated that the accused took advantage of the poverty in the region to prey on the pupils' feeble minds and impart his ideological beliefs.

He was, however, acquitted of two counts of recruiting six primary school children to be members of Al-Shabaab and being a member of the proscribed group.

Mr Wabwile on Monday appeared before Mombasa High Court Judge Justice Dorah Chepkwoni.

He argued that the magistrate failed to acknowledge that her court had no jurisdictions to sit, hear and determine an offence committed outside its jurisdiction in breach of Section 78, 79 and 80 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC).

In the Appeal No.1 of 2016, the appellant argued that the magistrate did not consider "my defence" which he presented by a way of submission, which was not challenged by the State.

"I pray that may this appeal be allowed by this honourable court, quash the conviction and set aside the sentence handed by the trial magistrate court," he said.


He told the Court of Appeal that his family had promised to hire an advocate for him to help through the appeal process.

In addition to the contradicting witness statements, the appellant had blamed his colleagues of having coached the pupils to bear false witness against him.

Mr Wabwile, who is a former political science and IT student at Maseno University committed the offence on diverse dates between January 8, 2013 and June 19, 2015 at Gotani location, Kilifi County.

He radicalised the minors and labelled their T-shirts "Radical Boys", to signify that the radical ideology had been imparted on them.The appeal will be mentioned on September 20


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