Embakasi East Member of Parliament Babu Owino has been handed a reprieve on Thursday, March 12 after a court ruled against his arrest over a robbery with violence case he was linked to in 2015.
High Court Judge James Makau barred Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji from arresting and charging the legislator over a case that had allegedly been withdrawn by Bernard Omondi Ogoji.
Justice Makau, while granting the conservatory orders stated that Babu had demonstrated that there was a violation of his fundamental rights and therefore needed protection from the court.
Justice James Makau in court during the ruling on a Judicial Service Commission case on Thursday, February 6, 2020.
“I am therefore certified that he has a prima facie case and that the respondents will not be prejudiced if orders sought are issued. I will grant prayer B of the notice of motion,” Justice Makau ruled.
Babu had moved to court claiming that Ogoji lodged a complaint against him at Kileleshwa Police Station and Central Police Station with malicious intent despite withdrawing them in August 2015.
According to the petition, Babu stated that the complainant had started blackmailing him with threats of the renewing the case.
“In frail bid to achieve this malicious self-interest, the interested party involved the services of a nondescript grouping under the moniker, Concerned Citizens of Kenya, who wrote to various law enforcement agencies demanding my arrest over the withdrawn complaint,” Babu’s application read.
“Ever since he withdrew his complaint, he has been piling pressure on me to withdraw my complaint which I have been adamant about. Indeed after my publicized arrest, he sent people to me to have me pay him and withdraw my complaint or else he will make my life difficult,” Babu argued in the court papers.
He alleged Ogoji was being sheltered by certain individuals within the office of the DPP and it had appeared that the office sided with him in reopening the case.
“Allegations stemming from the impugned complaint and reopening the matter are clearly malicious and an abuse of the criminal justice system which should be frowned upon,” Babu argued.
A senior lawyer who spoke with kenyagist.com argued that reopening cases depended on certain aspects. Capital offences such as murder and robbery with violence were subject to the government’s directive, unlike petty offences.
“If a complainant withdraws charges, they at times swear against reopening the case, if the case is petty and can be solved amicably. However, capital offences are under the government’s jurisdictions and it has the authority to review and reopen the cases,” the attorney stated.
Justice Makau set an Inter-party hearing for June 23.