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Return Jimmy Wanjigi’s seven guns, court orders State

By Kamau Muthoni | Jun 21st 2019 | 4 min read
One of the guns confiscated from businessman Jimmy Wanjigi’s home in 2017. [File, Standard]

A High Court in Nairobi has ordered the state to return businessman Jimmy Wanjigi’s seven firearms to him.

Justice Chacha Mwita in his judgment today ruled that the State acted irrationally by carting away the business man’s guns while he still held a valid license to keep the same.

“The plaintiff’s rights were violated by the respondents. The actions of the respondents were unlawful and actuated by malice.  The court grants orders that all firearms be returned to the plaintiff,” ruled Justice Mwita.

In the case, the businessman explained that the police forced themselves into his house, without a search warrant from the court and took away his firearms.

He said there was no proof of abuse of the weapons nor had he been charged in any court for crimes.

This is a second win for Wanjigi on the gun battle between him and the State.

The High Court quashed the charges and summons which had been issued against the businessman in Nyeri, after finding that the case pressed against him was done out of sinister motives.

Justice Pauline Nyamweya in her 35-paged judgment ruled that the Inspector General of Police and Director of Public Prosecution had abused their office by preferring charges against Wanjigi away from where the crime had been allegedly committed.

While defending their actions, the DPP and IG explained to the court that they opted to charge Wanjigi in Nyeri as it was his rural home.

However, the businessman explained that he had not been in his village in Nyeri for over a year and it would beat logic to leave courts in Nairobi and its surrounding for the remote court.

While agreeing with Mr. Wanjigi, the judge observed that the DPP and IG’s actions were not only abetting illegality but were unfair to him as it entailed additional expenses and inconveniences.

“By charging the applicant in Nyeri Chief Magistrate’s Court, they violated the applicant’s legitimate expectation that the respondents would follow the correct legal process as set by the law,” the judge ruled.

She continued: “I find that as the first and second respondents (DPP and IG) have been found to have acted in abuse of the court process and in bad faith and were motivated by extraneous factors in the decisions made to charge and summon the applicant, the applicant is entitled to the orders sought to quash the summons and charges.”

The judge also observed that Wanjigi was arrested and charged despite obtaining orders from the High Court barring the State from taking any action against him.

In the case, the police explained that they had obtained search warrants from Milimani law Courts which they served to him.  Police Inspector Maxwell Otieno told the court that they found lethal weapons which were not supposed to be held by private citizens.

According to Otieno, they allegedly found the weapons in Wanjigi’s kitchen ceiling, which allegedly was not a safe place to store them.

Police raided his home in Muthaiga, Nairobi, after guns and bullets were seized at a house in Malindi, alleged to be his.

During the siege, the officers sought to arrest him over the discovery and seizure of seven rifles and 93 bullets in a villa in Malindi.

They had arrived at his home accompanied by crime busters with sledgehammers planning to break into the house.

Inspector Otieno claimed that Wanjigi’s firearm license had been revoked for allegedly a habit of him threatening members of the public using the firearms.

Wanjigi was charged on March 1, 2018, with an offence of being in possession of prohibited firearms. His tribulations with the Jubilee administration began when he stood his ground in support for Raila Odinga-led National Super Alliance (NASA) party.

The charges were followed by a road drama when Wanjigi foiled an attempt by a dozen police officers to arrest him in Nairobi when he locked himself in his bullet-proof car.

The officers said to be at least 30 had blocked Wanjigi’s Toyota Land Cruiser V8 near Museum Hill after he declined to get out, demanding to know the reason for his arrest.

They tried to force the businessman to open the door in vain. They then mounted an unstamped court summons on his windscreen, informing him he was wanted before a magistrate’s court in Nyeri today over a criminal case.

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