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Man petitions IG Kimaiyo over 'wrongful detention'

COUNTIES
By Michael Wesonga | Aug 1st 2014 | 2 min read

An engineer based in Eldoret has petitioned Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo over unfair detention.

Samwel Onyango Ongere alleges that he was charged in court with theft of a motor vehicle despite showing sufficient evidence to prove he had hired it.

Ongere has been in remand since July 24.

The accused, who is currently remanded at the Eldoret Prison, has accused a senior police officer of colluding with people he owes money to blackmail him.

The charge sheet reads that he stole a grey Toyota Runx valued at Sh550,000 on May 5, 2014, in Eldoret in Uasin Gishu County.

He alleges his creditors worked with a police officer to impound the vehicle he is accused of stealing and towed it to an undisclosed location.

"The two came on the night of May 14 in the company of several Administration Police officers and demanded that I get out of my house before they towed the vehicle away," Ongere explained from prison.

He alleges this was done after two attempts to have him charged for defaulting on the payment failed.

Impound car

"They broke one of the car's windows," reads part of the letter to the IG by his lawyer. The letter states a claim by the officers that they had been commanded by the area County Police Officer to impound the car and arrest him.

"The two had on various occasions before the incident chased away my workers from Racecourse Secondary School where I was carrying out some works for delaying to settle their debts," he explained.

According to the petition, Ongere agreed a verbal contract with the two creditors, but they later forged Ongere's signature on an agreement purporting to be executed between the parties on April 20, 2014 prompting the accused to report the matter to the police.

His lawyer, Henry Koros of Chepkitway and Company Advocates, showed The Standard a police statement from Joshua Ng'ang'a, who towed the vehicle.

The statement reads in part: "The motor vehicle is automatic and had no keys therefore to gain access was a problem. I did improvise a wire which I used to open the door so as to gain access inside, I removed the handbrake so as to tow it easily."

Ng'ang'a said he was asked to tow the vehicle to Langas Police Station, but the creditors directed him to a private residence in Kapsoya Estate.

Ongere took the car keys to his lawyer one day after the towing incident.

Koros has questioned his client's detention.

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