Milimani Senior Principal Magistrate Robinson Ondieki on Wednesday, August 9, 2023, heard a case of two police officers accused of robbing a city Member of County Assembly (MCA) of $2 million/Ksh286 million.
Ondieki was told by lawyer Shadrack Wambui that the two police officers namely John Kuria and Andrew Kuria, attached to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) headquarters Serious Crime Unit, stole $2 million belonging to Makongeni MCA Peter Imwatok from a safe at Radisson Blu Hotel Nairobi.
Wambui told the court the two police officers stole the money from the safe with the assistance of a hotel employee who has since been killed mysteriously.
Imwatok had gone into hiding alongside Makadara Member of Parliament (MP) George Aladwa and Kilimani MCA Moses Ogeto Nyangaresi when they got wind that police were tracking to arrest them over allegations of engaging in subversive activities during the Azimio demonstrations to protest the high cost of living.
Wambui told Magistrate Ondieki that money was stolen when the two officers arrested Imwatok from his hideout at the Radisson Blu Hotel.
Wambui had applied to have the two officers John Kuria and Gilbert Kuria appear in court to present items they took from Imwatok when they arrested him on July 21, 2023.
On Tuesday, August 8, 2023, Ondieki ordered the two officers to appear before him with all the items recovered from Imwatok.
But to the utter surprise of the court, the two officers did not turn up but sent another officer Gilbert Okemwa with two phones minus the $2 million.
The court compelled Okemwa to take the stand to explain the whereabouts of the two officers and the money in question.
Okemwa told the magistrate he was not given any money by the two Kurias who arrested Imwatok.
"I confirm the only thing that is in the inventory is only the phones and nothing else. The $2 million was not handed to me by the two arresting officers," Okemwa told Ondieki.
However, the officer did not disclose the whereabouts of his two colleagues and why they failed to honour the court summons by appearing in court yesterday.
Wambui urged the magistrate to put his foot on the ground and compel the two Kurias to return the $2 million they took away from Imwatok after Okemwa said the money is not an exhibit in the subversion case.
The lawyer told the court that police have developed a notorious tendency of robbing suspects of their precious items and money.
"This habit of police must be stopped by this honour court. Order the two officers to return Imwatok's money or face prosecution," Wambui submitted.
Interestingly, the two Kurias arrested Imwatok when Justice Diana Kavedza had barred police from arresting him together with Aladwa and Ogeto.
The three were granted anticipatory bail of Ksh100,000 pending investigation and subsequent prosecution.
Even with the order of the High Court in force, the police arrested Imwatok and charged him with subversion alongside Mathare MP Anthony Oluoch.
Others who were arrested and have been charged in court in connection with the demonstration and the ensuing violence include Embakasi East MP Paul Ongili Owino alias Babu Owino, and Calvin Okoth alias Gaucho.
The magistrate directed Imwatok to seek redress for the theft of millions at the High Court.
Earlier, lawyer Sam Nyaberi, who represented three other city employees arrested during the demonstrations period, disclosed to Magistrate Ben Mark Enhubi that police also robbed his client Ksh5.6 million during his arrest.
Nyaberi told the court that Ngei MCA Redson Otieno Onyango lost Ksh1.8 million and Mabatini MCA Wilfred Oluoch Odalo lost Ksh3.2 million while Eric Otieno who is an employee of Nairobi County lost Ksh580,000 to the police when arrested at an Nairobi eaterly with Kilimani area.
In the wake of the protests, the government withdrew the bodyguard of Azimio politicians.
The IG Koome on Tuesday went public saying the said 50 Kenyans killed during Azimio protests were removed from mortuaries then police blamed for their deaths.
There has been increasing scrutiny on opposition politicians by the government after the said peaceful protests with Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua saying security will be restored to the politician if they 'behave well'.
The demonstrations that rocked the country were over concerns about the high cost of living and the controversial Finance Act 2023.