Ngetich was acquitted of speeding charges and plans to sue State
| Nov 10th 2017 | 3 min read
Former Rift Valley Law Society of Kenya (LSK) Chairman Bernard Ngetich plans to sue the state for Sh20 million as compensation after he was acquitted of a traffic offence.
Kericho Resident Magistrate Benjamin Limo cleared the Nakuru-based lawyer from the offence of breaking the speeding limit contrary to traffic laws.
The particulars of the offences were that on October 13th 2016 at about 8am along Kericho – Nakuru highway, the accused being the driver of a motor vehicle Reg. No: KCF 347R Toyota Harrier drove it at the speed of 114Kph and excess speed of 14Kph.
“I have read in detail the charge sheet and its particulars. The section of the Traffic Act alleged to have been violated or exceeded are not in accord with the particulars stated thereunder. This therefore renders the charge sheet defective,” said Limo in his ruling.
The magistrate added: “I shall in this regard reject and dismiss (in totality) the charges before me and against the accused who is also the officer of this court (by virtue of him being an advocate of the high court),”
Addressing the press immediately after the delivery of the three page ruling, Ngetich accused the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) of allegedly taking advantage of Kenyans ignorance to charged them with non-existing traffic offences.
“The charges against me lasted slightly over a year. I have attended more than ten court sessions and my valuable time was wasted. I will therefore be moving to the high court to sue the state for compensation of at least Sh20 million,” he said.
The Nakuru-based lawyer added that he will also ask the court to order an audit of all the speed guns being used by NTSA officers across the country.
“We have reasons to believe that the gadgets are faulty and Kenyans must know who is behind the company which was contracted to supply the speed guns to the country.
We also want to know who services them and the location of the speed guns. According to me, there are no speed guns being used on the roads and if they are there, they are faulty and NTSA officers are just using them to extort money from innocent motorists,” said Ngetich.
Earlier before plea taking, the advocate of the high court had raised preliminary objections against the charges he was facing before the court.
“The particulars of the charge sheet don't offend provisions of Section 70 (5A) as read together with section 70 (5B) of the Traffic Act as it provides for tolerance speed of 20Kph beyond/After the speed limit of 100kph us reached by a driver in control of a motor vehicle totalling a speed limit if 120Kph,” Ngetich had told the court.
And on September 18th this year, the accused and the prosecution attended court and agreed by consent to dispose of the matter by way of submissions.
Nonetheless, the Kericho resident magistrate court noted yesterday that while accused had filed his submission on the mention date, the prosecution didn’t.
“I have evaluated the charges before the court and the grounds raised in the preliminary objection notice filed in court on June 16th 2017. The prosecution did not file their submission. The court is left to draw and inference that the prosecution has abandoned their opportunity to challenge the primary objection raised by the accused,” said Limo in his judgement.
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