The owner of a popular club in Nairobi will spend five years behind bars for killing a patron five years ago.
Jackson Maina Wangui, owner of Club Click on Baricho Road, was found guilty yesterday of shooting Kelvin Oduor Onyango on the night of May 8, 2012.
Mr Maina, a licensed civilian firearm holder, had in defence told the court that he accidentally shot Mr Oduor.
The court, however, reduced his charge to manslaughter after finding that the prosecution had failed to prove a murder charge. Justice Stella Mutuku said the evidence presented showed that Mr Maina may not have intended to kill the patron, although he shot him at close range.
Mr Oduor died instantly. The club owner was said to have led Mr Oduor to the rooftop of the building that houses the club to rescue him from a hostile mob that was accusing him of theft.
STOLE MOBILE PHONE
Mr Oduor was alleged to have stolen a mobile phone. But Makadara police boss Thomas Atuti had in 2012 said that no complainant had come forward and no phone had been found on Mr Oduor.
“Justice cannot be served in law unless a culprit is handed a commensurate punishment against the offence he is accused of committing,” ruled Justice Mutuku after establishing that the evidence presented by investigating officer John Shegu was sufficient to sustain the charge of manslaughter.
In mitigation, Mr Maina had said he was remorseful. “Mr Maina walked around with a cocked gun for his own safety and not to threaten anyone,” said lawyer Pavlin Bowry in mitigation, adding that Mr Maina was a family man and was expecting a third child.
The lawyer wanted Mr Maina committed to community service to help with the healing and rehabilitation process. But the judge said the court has to balance between the mitigation by the defence and the bereaved family’s situation and strike a balance.
Mr Julius Sepi, a bouncer at the club, who was the second accused, was however acquitted of the murder charge because he had left his boss and Mr Oduor at the rooftop.
It took the police a longer period to identify the shooting victim because he had no documents on him.
Later, the father identified the body at City Mortuary and recorded a statement at Industrial Area Police Station. The 24-year-old was a salesman at a family business located on Luthuli Avenue, Nairobi.
Witness George Kimani, a former floor manager at the club, said that on the night of the shooting, there was commotion in a corner.
He was attending to a client when he heard the commotion and saw about three people fighting. There were approximately 300 to 400 patrons at the time, he said.
The proprietor, who has been out on bond, did not indicate he would appeal yesterday’s judgment.