A man has been awarded Sh5 million in damages for unlawful arrest and prosecution that led to the loss of his job.
Anthony Murimi Waigwe was arrested while on his way to work at the Kamindi Selfridges supermarket in Donholm where he was an attendant.
He was arrested on the morning of July 22, 2015, by police officers at Kayole, Nairobi County after a robbery was reported within the area.
In his suit against the Attorney-General (AG), Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Inspector-General of Police (IG), the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (Ipoa), and Corporal J. Ochieng, the petitioners said he was not informed of the reason for his arrest.
Police locked him up at the Kayole Police Station where he spent eight days without being taken to court. During that time, the complainant failed to identify him in a parade as the robbery suspect.
Despite the lack of evidence linking him to robbery, Waigwe was arraigned at the Makadara Law Courts alongside another young man where robbery with violence charges were preferred against them.
Because of the serious nature of the offense, a high bond of Sh1 million with surety of the same was set by the trial court.
However, Waigwe could not afford the amount and as such languished in police custody for 23 months.
During the trial, the prosecution did not present a single witness against him and despite his calls to the respondents to intervene, he didn’t get any assistance or response.
Two years later following his arrest, the prosecution withdrew the suit after the court refused to grant their application for a further adjournment of the case on June 27, 2017.
Because of the long stay in police custody, Waigwe lost his job at the supermarket where he used to earn Sh35,000 monthly and has been unable to secure gainful employment due to the stigma associated with the crime he was alleged to have committed.
In his judgment delivered on June 4, 2020, Justice J. A Makau ruled that the petitioner convincingly established that he was arrested for no apparent reason and as a result, he lost his employment and his reputation was damaged.
Justice Makau ruled that the man’s rights were violated as the police never informed him of the reason for his arrest in a language that he understood or at all.
Further, his rights were violated as he failed to be presented in court within 24 hours.
The judge also found that Waigwe’s right to a fair trial and administration action was breached.
But he ruled that the AG and Ipoa were not liable in any way for violation of Waigwe’s constitutional rights.
That notwithstanding, Justice Makau held the DPP, IG, and the arresting officer were liable and as such ordered them to pay Waigwe Sh5 million for violation of his rights.