Babu Owino released on bail

Embakasi East MP Paul Ongili popularly known as Babu Owino has been released on cash bail of Sh500,000 after spending two nights in police custody.

Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi further directed the MP to get two sureties, who will sign a bond of Sh1 million.

The court said the sureties should be of equal standing in society with Mr Owino.

Legislators Caleb Amisi (Saboti) and Samuel Atandi (Alego Usonga) later presented themselves as the sureties.

State counsels Nicholas Mutuku had urged the court to deny Mr Ongili bail saying there were compelling reasons to keep in remand.

VENOM

But the magistrate rejected the application saying the reasons advanced by the prosecution were not compelling.

He said the High Court has on many occasions, released persons facing more serious charges, including murder.

“I am therefore not convinced that the reasons stated are compelling enough to deny the accused the right to bail. It is in the interest of justice that he ought to be released,” Mr Andayi said.

The magistrate regretted the “vitriol and venom being spewed around the country” especially from leaders.

He said most of the leaders do so ignoring Article 10 and Chapter 6 of the Constitution, which he said provided guidelines to leaders so that they can be emulated by the masses.

SUBVERSION

He pleaded with leaders to act with decorum and not be ethnic jingoists.

Mr Andayi said he agrees with Mr Orengo that charges such as subversion should not find their way in courts, as a way of muzzling people but because people should avoid inflammatory words.

The young legislator had denied the charge of subversion. The court heard that Mr Ongili uttered the words that were calculated “to excite disaffection against the Presidency”.

He allegedly uttered the words on September 24 at Kawangware in Dagoretti North.

The MP faced an alternative charge of incitement to violence by uttering words that were calculated to lead to disobedience to lawful authority.

The MP denied a second count that he said words that were intended to cause breach of peace.

The case will be mentioned on October 4.

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