Police Officer accused of killing student leader remanded in prison

By Darlington Manyara | Sunday, Jul 15th 2018 at 22:29
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Leaky Maina (left) walks out of a Meru High court on July 13, 2018 after arraignment. His case will be mentioned on July 26, 2018. [Peter Muthomi/Standard]

 

A police officer accused of killing a Meru University student leader will remain in custody as he waited to plead to murder charges.

Constable Leakey Maina appeared before Lady Justice Ann Ongijo on Friday, when charges were read to him, but he was not allowed to take plea.

The court ruled that the officer first undergo a mental assessment test and that the State assign a lawyer to represent him.

The prosecutor, Mbithe Mwathi, told the court the State intended to charge the officer with the murder of Evans Njoroge.

Mr Mwathi applied to have the accused first taken for mental assessment before taking plea.

The prosecution also sought to have him remanded at the Meru Prison.

The court heard that Mr Maina shot Mr Njoroge alias Kidero, the Meru University Student Council secretary general, on February 27 at Kabebe village, Nkomo location in Tigania West.

In her ruling, justice Ongijo directed that Maina, who is attached to Miathene Administration Police camp, be taken to the Meru Level Five Hospital for mental check-up.

The court also ruled that the officer be remanded until July 26, when a report on whether he was fit to stand trial would be tabled in court.

The killing of Njoroge, as he led students in a protest over fee increment, led to the closure of the university for more than two months.

Toured institution

Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed visited the institution and fired the embattled vice chancellor, Japhet Magambo.

The Independent Policing Oversight Authority (Ipoa) investigated the matter and forwarded the file to the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP).

Dennis Oketch, the Ipoa head of communications, said the file concerning the student's killing was among eight others under review by the ODPP.

“On March 16 the Ipoa finalised investigations into the matter and forwarded the investigations file to the ODPP for review and directions,” he said.

A postmortem report showed the shooter pressed the gun against Njoroge's head before firing. He died instantly.

The postmortem was conducted by Chief Government Pathologist Johansen Oduor and Scholastica Kimani at the Meru Level Five Hospital.

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