NAIROBI, Kenya May 21 – The High Court on Wednesday declined to issue summons requiring senior police officers to appear in court to explain the whereabouts of Embu County Speaker Justus Kariuki Mate who went missing on Monday.
Judge Weldon Korir said Mate’s wife, Caroline Wangari, who wanted the police ordered to produce him had not provided sufficient information to warrant the court issue such orders.
Korir further directed Wangari to serve her application to the Director – Criminal Investigations Department, Starehe Divisional Criminal Investigation Officer (DCIO) and Inspector General of Police before Friday when the application is scheduled for hearing.
Mate was attending a meeting to discuss the county’s budget for the coming financial year at a Nairobi hotel when he disappeared on Monday.
Wangari had demanded that the High Court compel the police to produce her husband claiming that police are likely to subject him to injury, mental anguish and inhumane conditions.
In a habeas corpus application filed in the High Court on Tuesday, Wangari claimed that Mate disappeared in the company of a police officer.
She claimed that a police officer arrested and took her husband into custody and has to date failed to produce him in court.
Wangari said that she has not been able to access her husband from any police station or received any communication on his whereabouts.
Members of the Embu County Assembly have called for urgent investigations into Mate’s disappearance.
Embu County Deputy Speaker Ibrahim Swaleh explained that Mate received a phone call at about 4:30pm on Monday allegedly from a Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officer, and thereafter walked out from the budget workshop.
“He just walked out without his phone, driver or car and that is not normal. Our County Speaker has always been writing to the Embu County commandant asking for bodyguards and he has not received any response.”
“According to his call log when we checked, he last spoke to a CID officer. We have so far reported the matter to the Muthaiga Police station and we want the officer who last spoke to him questioned on his whereabouts,” Swaleh demanded.
Addressing journalists on Tuesday afternoon, Swaleh asked the members of the county and the public to desist from speculating on the matter and asked for police to hasten their process of finding the missing Speaker.
“We urge the people of Embu and the general public not to see this as a politically master minded thing; we also pray that it has no political motives behind it because it is nothing to joke about, seeing this is someone’s life we are talking about.”