Babu Owino denies charges, to spend another night in custody

September 26, 2017 4:24 pm
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Owino has denied charges of subversion and uttering words calculated to excite disaffection against President Uhuru Kenyatta/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 26 – The fate of Embakasi East MP Paul Ongili alias Babu Owino’s application to be released on bail will be known Wednesday.

This is after Nairobi Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi remanded him at the Kileleshwa Police Station after the prosecution objected to his release on bail pending trial.

Earlier in the day, the politician denied a charge of subversion, offensive conduct and in the alternative that of incitement to violence by uttering words that were calculated to excite disaffection against the presidency.

He is alleged to have uttered the words on Sunday at Kawangware’s Stage 46.

The prosecution led by State Counsel Duncan Ondimu and three others opposed his release on bail arguing that there are compelling reasons why he should not be freed.

The court heard it is likely that demonstrations in some parts of the country following his utterances are likely to continue if he is released.

It was also claimed that since the politician has a large following, it may impact negatively on the prosecution witnesses.

On her part, prosecutor Catherine Mwaniki submitted that due to the seriousness of the offenses the former SONU leader is facing, there is likelihood that he may jump bail.

Magistrate Andayi further heard that since Owino’s permanent abode is not known and the fact that he was arrested hiding at some apartment, there is a sufficient ground to deny him bond.

“We don’t need to over emphasise the seriousness of the offenses faced by the accused person who if found guilty on all the counts he is facing will spend seven and half years in jail,” argued Mwaniki.

But defence lawyers James Orengo, Otiende Amollo and others opposed the application to have the young politician detained insisting there are no compelling grounds to deny him bail.

The court was urged not to admit a sworn affidavit by Sergeant Nicholas Ole Sina demonstrating why Owino should be remanded in custody.

Orengo argued that Owino should not be denied bail on account of charges that are based on a penal code that no longer exists.

“The prosecution has not convinced the court why the accused person should not be granted bail. In the circumstances, we urge that the application opposing bail be dismissed,” he said.

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