9 students to remain in custody over hate leaflets

The suspects are being held at Langas Police Station in Eldoret. [iStockphoto]

Nine students who were arrested in connection with the circulation of hate leaflets through social media will remain in police custody for three more days to enable the police to conclude investigations.

Appearing before Eldoret law court Principal Magistrate Mogire Onkoba, the Investigating Officer (IO) Sophia Ibrahim told the court that more investigations into the matter needed to be done before the suspects can take plea.

Ibrahim told the court that the students spread the messages of incitement on a WhatsApp group.

The IO said the allegations were serious since the messages warned certain communities to leave Uasin Gishu County ahead of the general elections that come in barely seven days.

She further stated the investigations would establish the original authors of the circulated hate leaflets and determine whether more suspects were involved.

"We are requesting that the suspects be placed under police custody because of the nature of the offence that the suspects are likely to be charged with and to avoid interference with investigations by the suspects if released," said Ms Ibrahim.

She also stated in her affidavit that the respondents were a flight risk as the investigating officer did not know their abodes.

She said the matter was of public interest and touched on the security of the State this election period.

The suspects had opposed their detainment on grounds that they were not to blame for spreading the controversial flyers. The suspects are being held at Langas Police Station in Eldoret.