Comedian Eric Omondi has been released by a Nairobi court on a cash bail of Ksh5,000 after denying a charge of creating a disturbance while protesting over high cost of living along Kenyatta Avenue in Nairobi on Monday, March 3.
Appearing before Milimani Principal Magistrate Zainabu Abdul on Tuesday, April 4, 2023, Omondi denied the criminal charge levelled against him by the office of the Director of Public Prosecution.
"You (Eric Omondi) on April 3, 2023, at 11.30 am along Kenyatta Avenue created a disturbance by shouting and erecting a barrier along Kenyatta Avenue and while standing on top of it, you shouted hence causing a disturbance and inconvenience to other road users," the charge sheet states in part.
His lawyer Danstan Omari pleaded with the court to release Omondi on lenient bail terms claiming that his client was fighting on behalf of hungry Kenyans.
"Your honour, before you, is an international comedian who has created jobs for millions of Kenya through his comedy. I urge this court to release him on a personal bond or a cash bail of Ksh1000.
"Omondi could have been shooting a skit for his comedy, and the police could not understand," Omari informed the court.
According to the lawyer, his client was performing his duty as a television comedian and during the hearing of the case he will be raising the issue touching on Article 37 of the constitution which allows individuals to express their freedom of assembly.
Further, Omari claims that he will ask the court to make a finding that the accused did not commit an offence as alleged by the state.
Omondi had climbed on a makeshift stand and had a huge rope around his neck and was addressing a crowd along the busy Kenyatta Avenue outside Bank of India over the high cost of living.
Eric Omondi detained
Omondi was teargassed and arrested by police and detained at Central Police Station on Monday as he protested in town.
Police officers had to lob a teargas canister to scatter a crowd listening to him before they arrested him at noon.
The case will be mentioned on April 13, 2023, for pretrial.
Last week, he was also arrested on his way to State House to deliver resumes belonging to unemployed Kenyans.