Court summons Koome for failure to arrest Defense PS

Inspector General of Police Japheth Koome. [Edward Kiplimo, Standard]

The Inspector General of Police Japheth Koome has been summoned in court for failure to arrest the Defence Principal Secretary.

The PS was to be brought before Justice John Chigiti yesterday to explain why he should not be punished for failing to pay Sh52 million compensation to eight former Kenya Air Force officers.

The officers' lawyer Achola Jaoko told the High Court in Nairobi that Koome had disobeyed court orders issued on June 8.

The judge ordered the IG to appear in person before him on October 25.

The former military officers were awarded Sh44 million by Justice Isaac Lenaola (now a Supreme Court Judge) in 2019. The money, awarded for torture after the failed 1982 coup, has to date attracted at least Sh8.2 million in interest.

Some of the beneficiaries have since died waiting for compensation.

Justice Lenaola ordered that each of the petitioners receive between Sh900,000 and Sh2 million after they were detained for eight months from August 1982 to March 1983.

"In all the petitions, I also note that all the petitioners claim to have been adversely affected and suffered and still continue to suffer including in the case of the second petitioner, physical deformity of the left jaw, stigma, and post-traumatic stress disorder for all the other petitioners.

No affidavit in reply was filed by the State in rebutting the assertions as regards the torture and inhuman treatment that the Petitioners underwent," Justice Lenaola ruled.

The petitioners had told the court that immediately upon their arrests, they were stripped naked in public, were made to walk on their knees on concrete floors, whipped, kicked around and bludgeoned all over their bodies as they were taunted that they were "educated rubbish".

They further recalled how they were moved into custody in military trucks whilst naked and in full view of the public.

"In the circumstances, I find and hold that the petitioners were subjected to torture, cruel and degrading treatment. I will quickly dismiss the Attorney General's submission that the petitioners may have been involved in a mutiny. Torture is not permissible or excusable under any circumstances," said Justice Lenaola.

The petitioners were Jacob Ntubiri, David Kome, Silas Mugambi, Japhet Mukindia, Paul Mbaya, Charles Mututa, Julius Mwiti and William Nguku.