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Blow to Agriculture CS as court dismissed Sh10 million compensation

Blow to Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Franklin Mithika Linturi as court dismissed Sh10 million compensation for unlawful arrest.

Linturi had sued the Director of Public Prosecutions(DPP), The Director of Criminal Investigation(DCI), the National Cohesion and Integration Commission(NCIC) and the Attorney General(AG) for violating his constitutional rights, an order prohibiting arrest and compensation of Sh10 million unlawful arrest, detention and institution of miscellaneous criminal proceedings.  

Justice Heston Nyaga ruled that the CS had failed to produce concrete evidence of how his rights were infringed.

The CS had alleged that the arrest was meant to intimidate and oppress him to back down from his political stand and affiliation

 “The arrest was inhuman, false detention with trumped up charges, I incurred legal cost, travel cost, accommodation as well as other related expenses and inconvenience estimated Sh10 million,” the CS said.   

On January 8, 2022, the CS while addressing a political rally by the United Democratic Alliance Party(UDA)at Eldoret expressed himself using utterance which the stated alleged associated with incitement and hate speech.

He was summoned by NCIC on the same date with the allegations his utterances were hateful and likely to affect harmonious coexistence between communities living within Uasin Gishu County.

The CS would later issue a public clarification through his Facebook giving account and context and apologizing for the utterances.

In a dramatic twist of events, on January 9, he was arrested at around 2am at Eka Hotel in Eldoret and driven to KaptembwoPolice Station in Nakuru where he signed a visitor’s book and driven to Naivasha Police Station and finally to Gigiri Police Station.

Linturi was driven back to Kaptembwo at midnight and was arraigned in court at around 4pm under miscellaneous No. E10 of 2022 with the state seeking for seven days to detain him but the court declined.

He was released on a bond of Sh5 million or alternative bond of Sh2 million, the case was later closed due to lack of evidence.

Agriculture CS had averred that he was subjected to public humiliation, embarrassment gagged politically and social rights exposing him to economic sabotage and hardship.

In response, the state denied the allegations indicating that they were acting in accordance with the law pointing out that CS had failed to provide evidence of infringement.

Justice Nyaga observed that the CS had failed to present tangible evidence to prove that his rights were infringed.

“Even though the applicant was a lawmaker, he cannot have expected preferential treatment in the matter, everyone is equal before the law and I have not found any grounds to hold that he was treated differently,” the court noted.

The judge observed that the police only needed to establish some reasonable suspicion before preferring charges against any suspected criminals.

He added that the weight of evidence to sustain a conviction is for a trial court to ascertain whether the prosecution has or not proved a case beyond a reasonable doubt.

“I do not find any basis for prohibiting the respondent through the DCI from pressing criminal charges or any subsequent proceedings premised on the impugned arrest and investigation against the petitioner,” the court ruled.

The court noted that the petition was without merit, dismissing it with cost to the DCI and the state.

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