Kenya: Drama as Stubborn Suspect Declines to Follow Magistrate's Instructions

28 January 2020

Makadara Law Courts Senior Resident Magistrate Merissa Opondo on Friday had difficult time when a suspect arraigned before her on charges of intending to commit a felony declined to follow her instructions.

The suspect, Stephen Ngugi, was charged alongside his accomplice Robert Swatsi. Both suspects were allegedly found in possession of knives along Tom Mboya Street.


They are also facing drug peddling charges after they were reportedly found with four rolls of bhang each when they were arrested on January 23, 2020.

However, rather than responding to charges, Ngugi resorted to making claims that police officers from Kamukunji Police Station had robbed him.

Opondo told him that the law requires an accused person to plead to the charges - by either denying or pleading guilty before lodging complaints before the court.

But Ngugi was adamant that she should first help him recover his cash and the said items he claims were stolen from him by the officers.


Ordinarily, an accused person should answer to the charges before making other demands from the court, if they are not seeking deferral of the plea charges.

Ngugi insisted that Opondo must first listen to his claims before he pleads to the charges.

"I am going to record that you have denied the charges," Opondo said after Ngugi declined to respond.

The two were arrested after members of public informed police officers on patrol that they were smoking weed in public, selling the same and intimidating pedestrians to buy dummy phones from them.

Swatsi denied the charges and was released on Sh 30,000 while Ngugi was freed on a cash bail of Sh 50,000.

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