Five officers accused of killing man in Homa Bay face murder charge

Judge's gavel and handcuffs [Courtesy]

Five policemen accused of killing a man at Kochia village in Homa Bay County, four years ago, have finally been charged with murder.

Michael Ochango, Silas Anyira, Bernard Maritim, Steven Owino and Wycliffe Chepto, appeared in court on Wednesday to face charges for allegedly causing the death of Sylvanus Owinji, a suspect they had arrested on September 17, 2017.

A warrant of arrest has been issued against a sixth officer, Edwin Moenga, who has since exited the National Police Service. Owinji died at Homa Bay Referral Hospital where he was taken after the duty officer at Rangwe Police Station declined to place him in custody due to his injuries. That was a day after his arrest.

Independent Policing Oversight Authority (Ipoa) would later launch investigations into Owinji’s death. It was established that the officers raided Owinji’s home on suspicion that he was dealing in bhang. “During the arrest, the officers used force and Owinji sustained injuries which a pathologist determined to be the cause of death,” said Ipoa in a statement.