The family of businessman Jimi Wanjigi has accused the Government of persecuting them over their closeness with Opposition Raila Odinga.
Yesterday, the businessman's 87-year-old father obtained orders stopping his prosecution
Justice Roseline Aburili stopped the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Chief Magistrate’s Court in Nyeri from summoning or charging James Maina Wanjigi, pending the hearing and determination of a suit he filed opposing the intended prosecution.
“I am satisfied that the applicant has raised a strong case against his intended prosecution and issue orders suspending the decision of the magistrate’s court in Nyeri to summon him to appear in court to plead to the charges,” she ruled.
In Nyeri, the former Cabinet minister did not appear before the court where he had been summoned to answer to charges of allegedly failing to secure his licenced firearm.
Instead, his lawyers requested that the case be deferred on account of the accused's health and an ongoing petition touching on the gun.
Lawyer Kiogora Mugambi told Nyeri Chief Magistrate Wendy Kagendo that Maina was indisposed and would not be able appear in court.
“The accused person underwent a surgical operation and is recuperating. He will not be in a position to come to Nyeri to take plea for approximately six months,” said Kiogora.
Also lined up to appear before the court on related charges was Nairobi lawyer Memba Muriuki, who the prosecution said sold Jimi military grade weapons recovered during the raid on his home.
In Nairobi, Mr Wanjigi’s other son Sani Mbui Wanjigi swore an affidavit in which he claimed the Government, through the police, has been intimidating, harassing and persecuting Maina's family over political differences.
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Sani said it was inhuman to summon his ailing father to court given that he had just returned from the UK where he underwent surgery, and was now recuperating at his Karen home.
He argued that his father was a disciplined licensed firearm holder and had never misused the gun in the 50 years he had had it.
Sani traced his father’s woes to the police raid on his brother Jimi’s home in Muthaiga on October 17 last year. He claimed police violently disarmed Maina only to turn back and seek to charge him for allegedly failing to keep the weapon safe.
“Since the raid on Jimi’s property, our family has been subjected to continuous abuse, torment and harassment by State officers solely on account of Jimi’s association with Raila,” stated Sani.
He said due to illness, his father was not in a good State of mind to stand trial and could not travel to Nyeri where he was supposed to be charged.
Their lawyer Nelson Havi told the judge that Maina had not been summoned to record a statement as required, and that the move to charge him was illegal, unconstitutional, null and void.