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Gun drama as students fight for top Sonu posts

Twelve students of University of Nairobi were on Thursday taken to court after being arrested for engaging in violence during campaigns for student elections.

Police moved into the institution after several gunshots were fired from within Lower Kabete campus  on Wednesday. They netted one Glock pistol, two kitchen knives and two pangas.  Three vehicles were also impounded and taken to the Gigiri police station.

According to Gigiri OCPD Vitalis Otieno, police heard the gunshots at around 7.15pm and immediately proceeded to the institution.

Preliminary investigations indicate the gun belongs to a licensed gun owner, Booker Ngesa Omole who is currently being investigated.

“Our initial investigations point to the fact that the owner of the gun was supporting one of the camps (in the elections) and we want to establish what might have necessitated the use of a gun in the election,” said Mr Otieno.

Booker Ngesa is reportedly supporting one of the aspirants for the secretary general position and had provided him with three campaign vehicles.

The accused were Booker Ngesa Omole, Samuel Legina, Job Mandara, Benedict Wandeto, Oliver Kennedy Mureithi, Astagus Rayori, Jacob Opiyo Onono, Benrodger Nganu, Maachi Mazden, Edward Otieno, Langat Keneth and Edwin Kemoi.

They were charged with preparing to commit a felony, creating disturbance and going armed in public.

It’s alleged that on April 9, 2014 along Parklands road in Westlands within Nairobi County,  they were found armed with dangerous weapons namely one Glock pistol, two kitchen knives and two pangas in circumsrances that indicated they were armed with intent to commit felony.

They all pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Lawyer Alfred Ochieng, representing the students, told the court that the students are first offenders and should be released on a lenient bail.

“They will also start their examinations on Monday and we request that they may be released on bail because they promise to fully cooperate with the police,” said lawyer Ochieng.

Lawyer Ochieng added that the accused were beaten during their arrest and at the police station, and requested that they be released to seek medical attention.

Prosecution counsel Dancum Ondimu opposed the application for bail, saying the police need more time to conduct investigations.

He proposed that the said application be made on Monday after investigations are completed.

“We are also investigating whether there were other students injured in the commotion,” added Mr Ondimu.

Most of their parents and close relatives, who had been informed of the arrest, were present at the court to show solidarity.

Magistrate Joseph Karanja directed they be remanded at Gigiri police station and be produced in court on Friday at 2pm.