Man charged with giving false information to police acquitted

The court allowed  Alexander Irungu's application and granted him a bond of Sh30,000. [iStockphoto]

A man who was charged at a Milimani court two years ago with giving police false information that led to the ouster of Unaitas Sacco chairman Joseph Ngaai Kabugu has been acquitted for lack of evidence. 

While acquitting Alexander Irungu, Senior Principal Magistrate James Wamburah castigated the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) officers for preferring charges against the accused. 

Alexander Irungu, who appeared before then-Milimani chief magistrate Francis Andayi, denied the charge of lying to police in a bid to cause them to arrest and investigate Kabugu on allegations of falsifying his academic credentials.

According to Wamburah the DCI officers instead of acting on information that Irungu had given them in confidence to help them in their investigations, turned against the informer and charged him.

"Instead of the DCI acting professionally and confidentially without disclosing their source and the intentions of the accused for the benefit of the public as the accused stated in his letters, they turned the whole saga that now appeared to brew unnecessary controversy between the accused and Joseph Kabugu," stated Wamburah

The magistrate described the DCI officers' action as reckless that exposes the poor relation between police and members of the public.

"In my opinion, I do not find anything wrong about the enquiries made by the accused amounting to a criminal offense since the accused only requested for investigations to be done on the allegations some of which were already in the public domain," argued Wamburah. 

The duty of the DCI, stated the magistrate, was to investigate into claims raised by Irungu, and as there was nothing wrong if the detectives conducted investigations and informed the accused of their contrary findings than choosing to turn against him and prefer charges which were not proven to the required standards.

He added too that Kabugu had not made any complaint with the police anywhere accusing Irungu of spreading any false information about him and that police should have considered all the pertinent issues before deciding to charge him.

"In any event, the issue coming out of the entire case borders on civil issues that the police should have left the parties to square it out in a civil court," said Wamburah.

On the day Kabugu was charged, papers produced in court by police indicated that Irungu reported the matter to the Serious Crimes Unit at the DCI headquarters.

The court heard that the accused told Sergeant Sevelina Kalunge that Mr Kabugu forged a document for the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exams so as to gain admission to Shinners Technical College in Murang’a County to pursue a certificate course. 

Following the allegations Kabugu was removed from his position as the Unaitas Sacco chairman in 2020. By then Irungu was working with Family Heritage Hospital, which is a subsidiary of Unaitas Sacco. 

The prosecution told the court that by furnishing the law enforcers with the false information, Irungu intended to cause the police officer to investigate, arrest and charge Kabugu.

However, investigations established that the allegations were not true, leading to Irungu's arrest and subsequent arraignment with the offence of giving false information.

“I have not been in employment for some time due to the Covid-19 pandemic that negatively affected economies world. I, therefore, plead with the court to release me on reasonable bond terms,” said Irungu

The court allowed his application and granted him a bond of Sh30,000.