Chief in court over claims of unlawfully hiring out his gun

The case of a chief charged with hiring his official firearm to a civilian will be heard on February 28.

James Ilmepiru Leupane, the chief of Merille location in Laisamis District, Marsabit County, was charged with unlawful use of his firearm.

He allegedly gave out his official G3-rifle serial number 77094417 and seven bullets to Lentille Harao, from Sereolipi in Samburu East Sub-County. Harao and the administrator appeared before Isiolo Chief Magistrate Samuel Mungai.

The charge sheet reads that Leupane gave out his weapon to Harao ‘who is not under his immediate command without lawful authority’, contrary to Section 26 (a) 16 of the Laws of Kenya.

He was arrested in Seriolipi (outside his working station and in another county) on November 29 last year and detained at Archers Post Police Station before he was transferred to Isiolo and charged the following day.

The chief pleaded not guilty during the mention of the case last December 21.

He was granted Sh300,000 bond and surety in a similar amount, or a cash bail of Sh150,000. He paid the cash bail.

His co-accused, Harao, was also arrested in Sereolipi by the officers on patrol and admitted that the weapon belongs to the chief.

The Sereolipi officers visited Marsabit and were told that the chief is a registered Kenya Police Reservist (KPR). The KPR confirmed the weapon Harao possessed belonged to the chief.

The civilian was charged with being in possession of a specified firearm without certificate.

The charge sheet reads in part; "(Harao) in possession of firearm make G3 serial number 77094417 with seven rounds of ammunition (the same as that of the chief) without lawful authority’’.

Harao is also out on Sh300,000 bond.

Meanwhile, Laisamis Deputy Commissioner Dickson Mutua has said the chief was interdicted.

He said the chief, 59, had previously been interdicted on disciplinary grounds, and is set to retire next year.

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James Ilmepiru LeupaneMarsabit CountyLentille Harao