Over five years after he shot dead unarmed men in Eastleigh, the law has finally caught up with Pangani-based Sergeant Rashid Ahmed.
Rashid, arguably the most feared in Eastleigh and Mathare, is to be charged with the murder of the two after the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) approved the charges.
The Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) launched investigations into the shooting of Jamal Mohamed and Mohamed Dahir Kheri following a shooting which occurred at Eastleigh, Nairobi County on March 31, 2017.
“IPOA established that the fatalities were occasioned by police action. Guided by Section 29 (a) of the Independent Policing Oversight Authority Act, the findings were forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions with the recommendation to charge Corporal Ahmed Rashid, with murder,” the IPOA chairperson Ann Makori said.
“The ODPP, after independently interrogating the case file upheld IPOA’s findings that there is sufficient evidence to charge the officer with the offence of murder contrary to section 203 as read with section 204 of the Penal Code,” Makori added.
Yesterday, the Authority moved to the High Court at Milimani, Nairobi and obtained summons against the police officer to attend court and take plea on December 8, 2022.
The decision to charge the officers comes years after several human rights organisations and members of the public levelled serious allegations, mostly extrajudicial killings, against the Pangani-based officer.
There are several cases against the officer and IPOA had in the past said they were experiencing challenges in investigating some cases due to witness intimidation.
According to IPOA, they had received numerous cases against the officer but the cases had not been concluded as the key witnesses were reluctant to record their statements with the detectives.
The Authority had raised concern over the misuse of firearms and use of excessive force saying they continued to be the biggest challenge facing the National Police Service.
According to the police oversight body, the unjustified use of deadly force by the officers is however the tip of the iceberg as most probes into cases of extrajudicial killings had stalled due to witness threats and intimidation.
IPOA has also warned that there is an increase in the use of excessive force resulting in loss of lives and grievous bodily harm by police officers.
Officers are only allowed to use firearms when less extreme measures are inadequate to save or protect the life of the officer or another person and to defend themselves or another person against an impending threat of life or serious injury.
According to police regulations, officers should always attempt to use non-violent means first and the force used shall be proportional to the objective to be achieved, the seriousness of the offence, and the resistance of the person against whom it is used.
“Following the orders of a superior is no excuse for unlawful use of force,” Makori said.