A man has been awarded Sh5 million for illegal arrest and detention.
Anthony Waigwe was detained at Kamiti Maximum Prison for two years without trial following his arrest over robbery with violence allegations.
Yesterday, Justice James Makau ruled in Mr Waigwe’s favour in a decision that brings relief to dozens of innocent people arrested without reason.
“It is not right in a civilised society like ours to close our eyes, ears and mouths when police officers arrest and charge innocent Kenyan youths and have them taken through unnecessary criminal trial,” ruled Makau.
He said it was unconstitutional for police to arrest any person without informing them the reasons for the arrest. He said keeping a suspect in detention without trial is an abuse of the person’s rights.
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He made the decision in a case filed by Waigwe claiming malicious arrest and prosecution after he was kept in detention for two years without being prosecuted.
Justice Makau awarded him Sh5 million for violation of his rights, ruling it was unfair for the police to destroy the reputation and livelihood of a young person for no reason.
“The petitioner was arrested for no apparent reason, arraigned when there was no evidence against him and waited for hearing for 23 months, which never ever took place. He lost his employment and his reputation damaged, which justifies the payment for damages,” ruled Makau.
Waigwe said he was arrested on July 22, 2015 in Kayole estate, Nairobi, while heading to Donholm where he used to work as an attendant at Selfridges Supermarket. He said he was not told the reason for his arrest.
After being detained in police cells for eight days, he was taken to court with another suspect and charged with robbery with violence. He was granted bond of Sh1 million which he could not raise and ended up in remand.