DPP orders stern action taken on officers suspected of torture
By Patrick Vidija and James Omoro
| November 28th 2021
Four police officers suspected of torturing two university students in Homa Bay are now feeling the full force of the law.
Constables Abner Marienga, Timothy Kirichi Kuria and Steve Bongo, and Sergeant Shadrack Kavala on Monday walked into the Internal Affairs Unit (IAU) offices only to be arrested. And on Friday, they were taken to court.
Prosecution reports from the National Police Service Internal Affairs Unit show how the four officers attached to Gingo Police Post in Homa Bay County stormed the house where Bromick Asoyo Netanyahu, a student at Daystar University, and his friend Brian Onyango were sleeping.
According to the report, the officers, without any provocation, descended on the two with heavy blows, kicks and metal rods, occasioning them serious body harm. The incident happened on the night of July 29, 2019.
The IAU report indicates that the four officers later unlawfully searched Asoyo’s house and took away a smartphone, model Infinix Hot 6, assorted Safaricom cards worth Sh8,000, and some Sh11,000 in cash.
“Asoyo and his friend were later that material night frog-marched to Gingo Police Post while naked and bleeding as result of the assault,” the report said.
The officers, having realised their mistake, allegedly planted bhang exhibits and went further to charge the two before Mbita Law Courts with being in possession of drugs.
The IAU said what baffled many in court, including the trial magistrate, was the manner in which the two were escorted to court to take plea. “They appeared in court while naked, only putting on inner wears (sic),” read part of the IAU statement.
Due to the injustice meted on the two men, Bromick’s mother, Sabina Atieno Asoyo, filed a case with Homa Bay County Police Commander complaining about mistreatment of her son.
But the frustrations she encountered in the hands of senior police officers in Homa Bay while seeking justice for her son prompted her to go to IAU offices in Nairobi for assistance.
“The unit undertook investigations after the Director of Public Prosecutions Office in Homa Bay withdrew the case from court,” the report read in part.
“It was upon review of the evidence that Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji directed that the four officers who tortured Asoyo and his friend be arrested and charged with assault and abuse of office.”
The officers were arrested on Thursday when they appeared before the IAU Director on the strength of summons issued to them last week.
They were processed at Capitol Hill Police Station and released on cash bail of Sh10,000 to enable them appear before the Homa Bay law courts to plea. They were released on a cash bail of Sh10,000 or alternative bond of Sh50,000. The case will be mentioned on January 17 next year.
The DPP recommended that the four, including former-in-charge Gingo Police Post Chief Inspector Barasa, face stern disciplinary action for being negligent on duty.
“The officer found that the two young men had been severely beaten but failed to ensure that they were taken to hospital on time. Further, Barasa did not initiate any action against his officers for assaulting innocent members of public,” Haji said.
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