Wanted city goons now rush to court for protection
Five men accused of assaulting and robbing a Nairobi businessman Timothy Muriuki are now seeking court protection.
Mr Dishon Mulinge, Mr Ronald Otieno, Mr Michael Mbanya Wathigo, Mr Hussein Suleiman and Mr Brayan Shem Owino were captured on camera manhandling the former Nairobi Central Business District Association (NCBDA) chairman Timothy Muriuki at Hotel Boulevard 10 days ago.
In their application, filed in the High court on Monday, the five claim their personal security is at risk and that they could be eliminated by the police or deported to an unknown destination on the account they are not Kenyans.
The suspects want to be granted anticipatory orders pending their arraignment.
They argue that their rights and freedoms to security is, and will, continue to be breached if the court does not safeguard their constitutional rights to bail.
WILLING TO SURRENDER
They say they are ready and willing to surrender to the police but are apprehensive of their personal security.
The five have sued the director of Public Prosecutions, the director of Criminal Investigations and Inspector-General of Police.
They allege that their anticipated charges are defective, have no basis in law, are unconstitutional and unsustainable.
They say the brazen pronouncement on their status in the media has endangered them as they are now marked targets.
“Our personal security is at risk and we stand the risk that we may be clandestinely and extra judicially eliminated,” they say in the notice of motion.
On Wednesday, East Africa Legislative Assembly member Simon Mbugua and three other suspects were arrested and charged at Milimani Law Courts with robbery with violence in relation to the attack.
They denied the charges and were each released on Sh200,000 bail by Senior Principal Magistrate Martha Mutuku.
CAPTURED ON CAMERAS
Although those arrested were not captured on cameras at the assault scene, police said they had every reason to believe that three of them — Mr Mbugua, Mr Anthony Otieno Ombok alias Jamal and Mr Benjamin Odhiambo Onyango Alias Odhis — were involved in the attack.
The charge sheet produced by the police states: “On the April 30, 2018, at 11am at Hotel Boulevard in Nairobi, jointly with others not before court, they robbed Timothy Muceru Muriuki of Sh100,000 and injured him.”
The police have also offered a Sh500,000 bounty to anyone who may provide information leading to the arrest of any of the five fugitives.
Through lawyer Michael Osundwa Sakwa, the five fugitives claim they have credible information that the police is about to arrest them in connection with Mr Muriuki’s assault and they should be granted the anticipatory bail pending the determination of the application.
“We are ready and willing to present ourselves to a just and fair legal process in which our fundamental rights and freedoms are respected and protected,” they say in the supporting affidavit signed by Mr Sakwa.
In the event that they are required for questioning or investigations by the police or arraignment in any court of law, they say they should be questioned at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) headquarters at Mazingira headquarters, or such other police station in Nairobi County, in the presence of their lawyers.
They also want the court to rule that in the event that they are charged of the offence, they should be arraigned at the chief magistrate’s court in Milimani or any such court in Nairobi.
POLICE MISUSING POWER
They accuse the police of abusing and misusing their power of arrest to intimidate them for the purposes of achieving end not connected to the rule of law.
They claim police are abusing the criminal justice system and have no intention of following due process.
They argue that anticipatory bail can be granted by the court where there are circumstances of serious breaches of a citizen’s rights by an organ of the state which is supposed to protect the same.
They complain that no investigation have been conducted but they have already been condemned unheard and pray the courts steps in to aid and uphold the rule of law and grant them bail or bond.
“The applicants are apprehensive that in view of the circumstances of the publications made and activities of the recent past they are likely to be executed or dispatched to unknown destination on account of that they are not citizens of the country,” they say in the supporting affidavit signed by Mr Osundwa.
They are particularly angry with the decision by the police to declare them wanted persons, saying this had had already prejudiced them.
“The police action fly against Article 50 of the Constitution and more prominently that every person has the right to be presumed to innocent until the contrary is proved,” they say in the pleadings.
They further argue that the police has already branded them as goons, attackers, rapists, thieves, homosexuals, thugs, terrorists and wanted criminals for robbery with violence.
Mr Sakwa avers the media is awash with the perceived guilt of the applicants yet there has not been formal charge preferred against them in any court of law or any investigation conducted by the police.
“The anticipated charges are defective and the police are fully aware of the fact which further demonstrate that the power to arrest and the intended arrest are malicious and for ulterior motives and extraneous purposes,” Mr Sakwa argues.