, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 7 – ODM’s Director of Communication Philip Etale was freed on a bail of Sh30,000 on Monday after a Kilifi Court rejected an application by the prosecution to detain him for three days.
ODM Secretary General Ababu Namwamba confirmed that Etale had been freed after the party successfully challenged the prosecution’s bid.
The prosecution wanted Etale detained for three days but the police were given five days to conclude their probe with Etale out of custody.
Etale was arrested moments after midnight Sunday over allegations of being in possession of election materials.
According to the party spokesman Dennis Onyango, Etale was picked up from his room by 20 officers before being taken to the Kilifi Police Station.
“Three officers led by the Malindi OCPD accompanied by one Inspector Kiprono and two others moved into Etale’s room as others waited outside,” Onyango said in a statement.
Etale was held at the Kilifi Police Station where the officers were demanding his laptops after confiscating his mobile phone as part of investigations, to establish if indeed he had the said materials.
And following Etale’s arrest, Opposition leader Raila Odinga asked all CORD MPs and other elected leaders who were assigned to monitor Malindi polls as super agents to report and remain at the polling stations until the end of the voting exercise.
While describing the arrest as “arbitrary” Odinga stated that leaders must take up their roles at the polling stations and in getting out voters without any diversions or delays.
“We are concerned at the campaign of blackmail and arm-twisting that is being adopted in the region manifested in arbitrary arrests including that of Mr Philip Etale and we have assigned senators James Orengo and Johnson Muthama to take up the case of Mr Etale,” the statement from the party spokesman said.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is an updated version of the earlier story.