Lawyers threaten action over Babu Owino arrest

The Law Society of Kenya has threatened to pursue private prosecution against officers who mishandled Embakasi East MP Paul Ongili also known as Babu Owino during his arrest on Wednesday.

Also on the lawyers’ radar are officers, who assaulted demonstrators where one of them was injured during Tuesday’s demonstrations by National Super Alliance (Nasa) to try and eject electoral commission CEO Ezra Chiloba from office.

LSK President Isaac Okero condemned the brutality of officers and said they should have first used non-violent means in dealing with the two situations.

DISCIPLINE

In a statement, Mr Okero said police abused the statutory power of arrest under section 58 of the National Police Service Act when at least half a dozen officers of Milimani court.

By Article 244 of the Constitution, he stated, the National Police Service must strive for the highest standards of professionalism and discipline among its members6 and comply with constitutional standards of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

“They have acted in violation of the authority of the constitution and have ignored their constitutional duties to observe the national values and principles of good governance and the values and principles of public service. And if they were acting on orders of their superiors they have acted on illegal orders which are no justification for the use of force,” he said.

ARREST

, the official said police prevented his lawyer, Mr Otiende Amolo, who is also Rarieda MP from communicating with his client.

“Advocates are officers of the court and should be considered by police officers to be partners in the administration of justice. The perpetuation by members of the police force of an adversarial rivalry with advocates is totally untenable and not conducive to the shared objectives of facilitating access to justice,” he said.

He now wants Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet to disclose and deal with the officers cited in the two cases.

“Only prompt action by the Inspector General of Police will assure Kenyans that our nation is not sliding into the repressive condition of a police state,” he said adding that the Director of Public Prosecution should institute the prosecution of said officers as required by the law.

“In the event that the Inspector General of Police does not take prompt action as aforesaid, LSK shall take steps to initiate private prosecutions of the officers concerned for the violation of the provisions of the constitution and of the provisions of the National Police Service Act,” he said.

Okero says police should have first used non-violent means in dealing with the two situations.

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