High court stops prosecution of lawyer in Wanjigi firearm saga

Weapons charge: Lawyer Memba Muriuki. [File picture/Standard]
The High Court in Nairobi has stopped criminal proceeding against a Nairobi lawyer charged with allegedly selling prohibited firearms to Jimi Wanjigi.

On Thursday, Memba Muriuki failed to appear before a Nyeri court to plead to charges of selling prohibited firearms to the controversial businessman.

 Muriuki had been summoned before Chief Magistrate Wendy Kagendo, but his lawyer Mr Kaberia told the court that the criminal proceedings had been stopped by the High Court in Nairobi.

The Inspector General of Police( IG) Director of Public Prosecution( DPP) and Chief magistrate Nyeri, have been named as the First, Second and Third respondent respectively.

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Kaberia told the court the orders had been obtained on March 7, from Justice Roselyn Aburili.

In her ruling Justice Aburili allowed the lawyer’s application to file a judicial review application in which he is opposing his prosecution within 14 days.

“Leave is hereby granted restraining the first and second respondents or any other officer under their authority from instituting /commencing criminal proceeding, summons, charged or prosecuted in criminal case number 252 pending for plea at Nyeri law courts,” the orders read in part.

The lawyer faces four charges of selling three prohibited semi-automatic, self-loading military assault rifles to Jimi Wanjigi.

Muriuki is alleged to have sold the weapons to the businessman on August 12, 2014 and on October 17, 2013 at Armament Limited at Umeme Plaza Nairobi along Naivasha Road.

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Last week  the High Court barred the Nyeri Magistrate's Court from hearing a matter in which Jimi Wanjigi is accused of illegal ownership of the weapons. Police had blocked his car in Nairobi and pasted court summons on its windscreen requiring him to appear before the Nyeri Court.

Days later Jimi's father Maina Wanjigi, a  one-time Minister for Cooperatives in the Moi administration, was summoned to the same court to face charges of failing to keep a firearm safely. His lawyer, however, submitted that his client was unwell. 

High CourtJimi WanjigiMemba MuriukiNyeri courtprohibited firearms