Teenager denies assaulting officer

Wednesday, June 5th, 2024 03:36 | By
University student Ian Ngigi Njoroge at Milimani Law Courts . PHOTO/Charles Mathai
University student Ian Ngigi Njoroge at Milimani Law Courts . PHOTO/Charles Mathai

A first-year University student has been charged before a Nairobi Court with causing grievous harm to a police officer on June 2 at Kamiti Road in Kasarani.

Ian Ngige Njoroge (19) further faced a robbery with violence charge having been accused of robbing corporal Jacob Ogendo a Samsung phone worth Sh50,000 and a battery from a police communication gadget. He was also charged with resisting arrest.

The student at Technical University of Kenya (TUK) denied all the charges levelled against him before the Milimani Senior Principal Magistrate Benmark Ekhumbi.

 The magistrate heard that the accused committed the offence while in the company of others who are yet to be arrested and charged.

Ngige is charged under section 296 (2) of the penal code which carries a death sentence upon conviction.

Ngige faced an additional charge of causing obstruction to other motorists while driving a vehicle registration number KDJ 207 P.

The traffic charge stated that he did not allow the said motor vehicle to give access to other road users by making a U- turn along Kamiti Road at Mirema junction.

Excess passengers

He was also charged with carrying excess passengers in the said motor vehicle and disobeying verbal police directives to drive the said motor vehicle to Kasarani Police Station.

The charge further stated that at the Quick Mart Supermarket, he allegedly pushed the police officer in uniform out of the vehicle.

State Prosecutor Virginia Kariuki opposed the release of the accused on bond saying police need time to present an affidavit explaining reasons for the bail denial.

“The accused herein was arrested on Monday and the investigating officer needs time to record statements from intended witnesses,” said the prosecutor.

Defence lawyers Dancun Okatch, Suyianka Lempa and Ken Echesa opposed the application by the prosecution to detain the accused for three days saying his rights have been infringed upon by the police who allegedly tortured him when they arrested him at his mother’s house.

“We are taken aback by the request to detain the accused for three more days to enable police come up with reasons for bail denial,” said Okatch.

He urged the court to reject the state’s request and admit the accused to bond to enable him seek medication.

Echesa said the accused was heavily assaulted by police officers who arrested him and recorded his blood-soaked clothes then circulated in the social media the same.

The magistrate further heard that police recorded the altercation between them and the accused whereby a recording presented before court quoted police hurling insults terming the accused as ng’ombe (cow) and dog.

Mental torture

“Article 29 (c) (d) and (e) of the constitution require every arrested suspect to be treated with dignity and prohibits torture whether physical or psychological,” Okatch submitted.

The magistrate was urged not to allow police three more days to subject the accused to further physical and mental torture.

“At the police station the accused went through an ordeal where he was tortured and now police ashamedly plead for three more days to subject him to further persecution,” said Echesa.

Ekhumbi was told by the defence that Ngige was manhandled and he collapsed twice at his parent’s house when police descended on him.

Lempaa opposed the three-day detention request saying police preferred the violent charges against Ngige under section 296 (2) to make him look like a dangerous person.

He said that in 2016, a three-judge bench declared as unconstitutional of sections 295, 296 and 297 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

Access medication

The court heard that Ngige is charged under a section of the law that has been outlawed.

He said there is no proper charge before court the accused should be freed on bond.

In his ruling, the magistrate ordered Ngige to be detained in prison custody to enable him access medication and protection since there was bad blood between the accused and the police.

He said 21 police officers escorted the accused to court, an act which scared Ngige amid fears for his safety,

“Let the rights of the accused be protected, let him be escorted to hospital at Kenyatta National Hospital to get urgent health attention,” ordered the magistrate.

He also directed prison authorities to act expeditiously and ensure compliance of his orders.

The accused will be produced in court today to determine whether he will be released on bond.

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