DPP Keriako Tobiko in trouble for wrongful prosecution of CID officer

NAIROBI: A decision by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Keriako Tobiko to charge a policeman for allegedly kidnapping Embu County Assembly Speaker Kariuki Mate will cost him dearly.

This emerged after the High Court ruled that Nicholas Muriuki was prosecuted without sufficient evidence. Consequently, the DPP has been ordered to pay Mr Muriuki the cost he incurred in filing the petition challenging his prosecution.

"The situation the petitioner, himself a police officer, found himself in is inescapable. What necessitated the rush to arrest and charge him before gathering evidence is not clear," Justice Mumbi Ngugi said.

Muriuki, who was at the time based at Pangani Police Station's Criminal Investigations Department was arrested and arraigned before the Milimani Chief Magistrate's Court, Nairobi.

He was charged with abducting Mr Mate at Utalii Hotel, Nairobi on May 19. He was also charged with intent to cause secret and wrongful confinement, charges he denied and was released on Sh100,000 bond pending the hearing of the case.

He was arrested by officers led by Starehe DCIO Ndumba Thangarani on the premise of a "missed" phone call he made to the speaker shortly before the latter walked out of the hotel and disappeared. Mate was found on Limuru Road near St Paul's University three days after he went missing. A bid by Mr Tobiko in September last year to terminate the case hit a snag after a Nairobi court directed it proceeds to full trial.

The DPP wrote to the Director of Criminal Investigations Ndegwa Muhoro, seeking to have the case terminated citing lack of evidence. He said upon perusal of the file, he concluded that there was no sufficient evidence to get a conviction.

Ngugi said the DPP must ensure that his office is sufficiently in control of prosecutions.