NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 16 – The Independent Policing Oversight Authority has recommended charges against two serving members of the National Police Service for alleged offences that range from assault and mistreatment of a person in police custody.
In the first case, IPOA has filed a case against Inspector Zuhura Khan at Milimani Law courts for failing to accord a 19 year-old woman medical treatment while held in custody at Industrial Area Police Station.
According to IPOA, the woman had been physically and sexually assaulted by her female employer after a disagreement over money that resulted in serious injuries.
IPOA established that whilst in police custody, she was not given any medical attention despite an order of the court directing that she be taken to the hospital for treatment for her obvious injuries.
“The complaint was brought to the attention of the Authority by the Federation of Women Lawyers-Kenya (FIDA) Nairobi,” IPOA Dennis Okatch communication officer revealed.
The investigation revealed that the woman was taken to Akila Police Post on the February 15, 2014 by the employer’s husband on allegations of stealing household items.
She was detained at the post for two days and moved to Industrial Area Police station on February 17, 2014 and later taken to Makadara Law Courts the following day where she informed the magistrate of the physical and sexual assault.
“The magistrate gave orders that she be remanded back at Industrial Area Police Station so that she can be taken to hospital to receive medical attention and that her employer be arrested and investigated,” Okatch pointed out.
Despite the court order, IPOA regrets that the woman was taken back to Industrial Area Police Station on the February 18, 2014 and despite informing Inspector Zuhura of her injuries, she was not taken to hospital for a period of five days while held in custody.
“It took the intervention of two brave and compassionate officers at the police station to call Médecins Sans Frontières who took the woman to hospital where she was surgically operated since her condition was critical,” a report by the authority reads.
“The DPP also concurred with IPOA’s recommendation that the National Police Service Commission takes disciplinary action against three other police officers based at the same station for being negligent in the performance of their duties by failing to accord the woman medical attention.”
In the second instance, IPOA has filed a case against Police Constable Emmanuel Kebenei Kipyego over allegations of assault causing actual bodily harm against Said Ahmed.
The authority after investigations says there is sufficient evidence that the violence meted upon Ahmed by the police officer was unwarranted and amounted to the offence of assault causing actual bodily harm.
According to IPOA, Ahmed was assaulted on March 17 by Police Constable Kipyego, an Administration Police Officer and Yusuf Kimoi both attached to Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi as bodyguard and driver respectively along Kingara-Riara road.
With regard to Yusuf, who is the MP’s driver but a civilian, the DPP concurred with the authority’s recommendation that he be investigated separately by the detectives.
“This case highlights IPOA’s concerns on police officers who continue to mete out violence on members of the public in gross violation of their constitutional entitlements,” Okatch said.
The case has since been mentioned in court.