9 February 2018

Kenya: Police Turn Away Nasa Legislators at DCI Headquarters

Opposition legislators were yesterday turned away by police when they sought to have their statements recorded over the protest swearing-in of their leader Raila Odinga as the people's president.

Their lawyers John Khaminwa and Nelson Havi escorted them to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations headquarters and asked to see the director, Mr George Kinoti, but he was not in office.

TURNED AWAY

They were received by a legal officer who told them they would neither be questioned nor their statements recorded.

Police had earlier told the legislators not to visit the headquarters because they were not "persons of interest."

Dr Khaminwa explained their presence at the DCI headquarters: "I want to emphasise that a judge made an order that we come here. We obeyed. Orders of magistrates and judges must be respected."

Mr Havi added: "The court was clear we bring them here so that they can be questioned."

COURT ORDER

In response to the court orders issued by Judge Luka Kimaru on Tuesday, police issued a statement saying: "The National Police Service wishes to state that neither Hassan Joho, Jimi Wanjigi, David Ndii nor the nine others who have sought anticipatory bail are being sought as of now in connection with commission of any crimes." It added: "Those individuals should therefore not bother turning up at the DCI offices. They are not persons of interest to the police as of now."

Besides Mr Joho, Mr Wanjigi and Mr Ndii, others are ODM executive-director Oduor Ong'wen, MPs Babu Owino, Cleophas Malala, George Aladwa, Gladys Wanga, George Khaniri, Norman Magaya and Simba Arati. The 12 moved to court and successfully applied for anticipatory bail to cushion them in the event police moved to arrest them.

Ruaraka MP TJ Kajwang' has since been charged over the oathing ceremony and was freed on court bail.

Mr Miguna Miguna, the self-declared general of National Resistance Movement, an arm of Nasa, was likewise arrested and taken to court but was on Wednesday deported to Canada after the High court suspended all charges against him.

BRIEF

The lawyers said they would be back in court on February 13, to brief the Judge about the visit at DCI.

"A very senior legal officer has allowed our clients to sign the papers and we are happy and now going back. But court orders are not being respected by the executive. We are requesting the executive to make sure they obey the orders. That is the only we can ensure we have a peaceful society and investors bring their money and be assured there is rule of law in the country," Dr Khaminwa also said.

Mr Havi added: "The court was clear we bring them here so that they can be questioned. We saw a post on twitter account of police saying they did not requires us here because our clients were not persons of interest. But in compliance with court order we came here. Their bond have been stamped and our clients were not questioned a clear indicator there were no criminal investigations against them."

They also talked about failure by the State to disobey court orders, regarding Mr Miguna's ordeal.

The Judge also ordered Inspector General Joseph Boinnet and Mr Kinoti to appear in court in person on February 14 over failure to produce him in court when they were required to do so and eventually, his deportation.

'UNFAIR TREATMENT'

Mr Orengo complained that police were dealing with them like criminals by treating them "as if we are guilty until proven innocent."

"We have to put police to account and the thing I don't like in this country it has not been possible for the courts to be courageous enough to serve the President with their summons to appear before court because in other jurisdictions it has happened. Serve the deputy president tell him he has to appear," he added.

Mr Orengo also expressed fear that police who move to arrest them nevertheless.

He said: "Police should arrest when they have some evidence. The issue of arresting somebody on a Friday is unlawful because it is done with the intention with the right of citizens. In fact they asked why we shouldn't come on Friday but we said the court said it is today (Thursday)."

Mr Orengo went on: "We are creating a class which is operating outside the law and this has to be brought to a stop and it is not the government that is going to do it but the Kenyans."

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