Police officer detained for ten days over Azimio chaos in Kisii

Martha Karua was whisked out by a security officer after chaos erupts in Gusii Stadium. [Sammy Omingo, Standard]

The main suspect of the chaos that disrupted the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition rally in Kisii on Thursday presided over by running mate Martha Karua has been detained for 10 days.

Josephat Makori was arraigned at the Kisumu Chief Magistrates Court. He was charged with attempting to cause injury by an explosive device contrary to Section 235 of the penal code. He, however, denied the charge and urged the court to grant him reasonable bond terms, arguing that he had an expectant wife and was also unwell.

The officer confirmed to the court that he was assaulted and had sought medical attention before he was presented to court. He presented a medical report to Chief Magistrate Teresa Odera and urged the court to release him.

“I am feeling pain in my body and my wife is also sick,” the officer told the court.

During the plea taking, the court heard that the officer, with intent to cause harm to the members of the public unlawfully detonated a teargas canister in a fully parked stadium. According to the prosecution, the suspect was attacked by the public after the incident and was rescued by other police officers. The prosecution has lined up four witnesses including three police officers to testify against the suspect.

Maureen Odumba, the prosecutor in the case asked the court to detain the suspect claiming that the security of the suspect could not be guaranteed. She said that the suspect also confirmed to the court that he was attacked by the public and would be at risk if he is allowed bond.

“We are concerned about his own safety.  His work station is in Kisii and if he is released he is likely to go back there. We pray that the court defers his bond ruling until everything calms down,” said Ms Odumba.

In her ruling, the Chief Magistrate said that the safety of the accused could not be guaranteed if he is released and deferred the ruling for ten days. She said that although all accused persons are entitled to bond, their safety is also a matter that is also considered.

“The suspect is remanded ten days over safety concerns,” said Ms Odera.

The case will be heard on July 26 while the mention date has been set for July 11.  On Thursday afternoon, Karua was evacuated after a teargas canister was lobbed towards the dais when she started addressing a rally at Gusii Stadium.