NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 5 – The Law Society of Kenya has condemned the continued harassment of officials from the Independent Policing Oversight Authority by police officers.
LSK Chairman Isaac Okero says the trend is the manifestation of the deeply entrenched culture of impunity in the National Police Service which appears to be sanctioned by superiors.
He spoke a day after IPOA Chairman Macharia Njeru accused the Inspector General of Police of ordering his officers not to cooperate with investigators checking police excesses.
“In light of the foregoing, it is reprehensible enough that an officer of IPOA would suffer assault, arrest, incarceration and threatened prosecution simply for attempting to serve a complaint upon the OCPD at Kayole Police Station without the stunning revelation that his conduct appears to have had the knowledge, sanction and encouragement of his superiors right up to the Inspector General,” he pointed out.
This follows an incident in Kayole where the area police chief Ali Nuno ordered the arrest of an IPOA official who had gone to serve him with summons.
Okero has called for Nuno’s prosecution for “assault and with abuse of office in addition to the offences for obstructing the IPOA as the complaints investigated by the IPOA proceed.”
“The brazen and criminal abuse of office by the senior command of the National Police Service is an illustration of how far we are from a police service. They too have committed offences of obstructing the IPOA and are unfit to serve in office.”
Nairobi Police Chief Japheth Koome has since refuted the claims by saying says the official was legally arrested and held in the station for causing fracas, an incident that was also witnessed by members of the public, when he went to hand over a petition.
“He was legally arrested,” the police boss asserted.
IPOA however insists that the officer was arrested after he attempted to hand over summons to Nuno, whom they are investigating over a number of allegations which include corruption, misappropriation of funds and abuse of office.
Nuno is also being investigated for obstructing IPOA officers from undertaking inspection at the station.
“After reading the summoning letter, he declined to receive it and ordered IPOA officers to get out of his office. The IPOA officers then left and while proceeding to leave the OCPD’s office, the OCPD pursued and grabbed one of the IPOA officers,” reads the statement by IPOA Chief Executive Officer Joel Mabonga.
The Director of Public Prosecutions is reviewing the file.
On corruption, Nuno is said to have failed to pay some officers under him their allowances, “after performing duty of offering security during President Obama’s visit in July 2015.”