Case against Babu Owino, 6 others pushed to September as prosecutors fail to show up in court

By , K24 Digital
On Thu, 24 Aug, 2023 17:50 | 2 mins read
From right, MP Babu Owino, Calvin Otieno alias Gaucho and Tom Odongo, who are accused of engaging in subversive activities, before Milimani Law Courts dock on Thursday, August 24, 2023.
From right, MP Babu Owino, Calvin Otieno alias Gaucho and Tom Odongo, who are accused of engaging in subversive activities, before Milimani Law Courts dock on Thursday, August 24, 2023. PHOTO/Nancy Gitonga

Four state prosecutors failed to turn up to prosecute the case against Embakasi East MP Paul Ongili alias Babu Owino and six others arising from July anti-government protests over high-cost living.

The prosecutors who failed to turn up in court for the hearing of the case in which Babu Owino and his co-accused are charged with conspiracy to cause chaos during the anti-government protests are Joseph Riungu, Jacinta Nyamosi and Victor Owiti.

A prosecutor who held their brief, Anderson Gikunda, told Milimani Chief Magistrate Lucas Onyina that the four did not communicate with him nor did they send written instructions on their whereabouts.

Gikunda said he was only instructed to get another trial date when the prosecutors will be available.

Babu Owino protests

Following their absence in court, Babu Owino put the entire DPP's office on notice that in future if he fails to attend court the state should not seek a warrant for his arrest or question his whereabouts.

"The DPP is a time waster and has no respect for the rights of accused persons. We serve expeditiously justice. This case should have ended today as the witnesses in the case are only four police officers," the MP protested.

He added: "If l ever fail to attend court no action should be taken against me as the prosecutors have also not come to court and no explanation has been given for their absence."

Two defence lawyers Danstan Omari and Duncan Okatch joined the cue protesting bitterly before Onyina that the prosecution is a big letdown to justice.

"DCI and DPP can not arrest people bring them to court and fail to turn up to prosecute them. It is not fair administration of justice," Okatch told Onyina.

The lawyers told the court that when Babu Owino, Calvina Gaucho,Tom Odongo, Michael Otieno, Pascal Ouma, Kelvin Wambo and Willy Barak were arrested last month the prosecutors said they were ready to prosecute the case expeditiously.

"Where are they now? What has happened? Is it because when they arraigned the accused persons they wanted to exhibit a show of solidarity because there was no DPP or has the newly appointed DPP Ingonga instructed them not to come to court?" Posed Okatch.

They urged the court to put to an end the practice of skipping court by the senior prosecutors during the trial of the cases.

The lawyers made a scathing attack on the prosecution during the hearing of an application by Gaucho to have PSC Kileleshwa and the investigating officer Chief Inspector Kiprop who is the DCI Regional Commander in Nairobi County summoned to appear in court over allegations of assault.

Gaucho claims that on July 20, 2023, while detained at Kileleshwa police station, he was attacked by 30 hooded goons who beat him up and injured him seriously.

He says that he positively identified Kiprop as among those who attacked him.

Gaucho told the magistrate he feared for his life.

Omari urged the court to have the application heard in open court through oral testimony.

But the four absent prosecutors were of the view the application by Gaucho to have Kileleshwa OSC and Kiprop summoned be heard by way of written submissions.

In a brief ruling, the magistrate hesitantly adjourned the case to September 5 to enable prosecutors attend court.

In the case, the MP and six co-accused persons are charged with planning to commit subversive activities in July during the protests called by the Azimio la Umoja - One coalition.

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