After spending a night in Mombasa police cells, combative Malindi Member of Parliament Aisha Jumwa is free.
Senior Mombasa Magistrate Vincent Adet this morning released Aisha and her aide Geoffrey Okuto Otieno who were being held over the fatal by-poll chaos in Ganda, Malindi.
Adet ruled that they each be released on a Sh1 million bond and a surety of a similar amount or an alternative cash bail of Sh500, 000 after the prosecution failed to prefer charges on them.
The Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) had requested to detain the duo for 21 days as they investigated the murder of Ngumbao Jola at the homestead of Reuben Mwambire Katana, the ODM candidate for the Ganda ward by-election.
Ngumbao Jola, 48 was shot in the chest and killed on Tuesday.
State lawyer Alloys Kemo argued Jumwa was a confrontational and violent person who should be restrained and kept away from today’s elections.
“Liberty of the respondents (Aisha and Okuto) is precious and one’s liberty should not be denied without reasons not in accordance with the law…I am not dealing with factual evidence at this stage,” magistrate Adet ruled.
The judge noted that the two co-accused could help with the investigations without necessarily being in detention. He ordered that Aisha and Okuto present themselves before the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) offices in Malindi on Tuesday to assist with the probe.
“The recent trend where a person is arrested and presented in court within 24 hours basically for the prosecution to seek extension of time to continue to detain such a person without a charge is unconstitutional. The police have no authority in law to arrest and detail any person if they do not have evidence to charge them with a disclosed charge,” Adet averred.
He went on: “The police shall have the liberty to charge the two with a disclosed offence if they have evidence and should they reach such a decision they should summon them to court to take a plea.”
Yesterday, officers intimated that Aisha and her aide were being investigated for crimes including incitement to violence, assault, electoral offenses and breach of Elections Code of Conduct.