, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 12 – The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) has once again expressed concern over the arrests of suspects at the weekend, terming it draconian, because it is a move aimed at ensuring they remain in custody before they are charged.
The Head of the Society Allen Gichuhi stated that such action goes against the fundamental rights of accused persons.
He pointed out that individuals arrested should be arraigned in court within 24 hours and this cannot happen if they are taken into custody over the weekend.
“The rights of an accused person should be respected and accorded human dignity. We therefore will call for a meeting with the concerned authorities to reiterate the resolve of LSK to ensure that the rights of the citizens are respected and protected,” he said, and vowed to take action.
“Next week I intend to call upon the anti-corruption body to ensure that in future those rights under article 49 and 50 in the constitution should be respected,” he said.
He was reacting to the Saturday morning arrests of National Land Commission Chairman Muhammad Swazuri and the Managing Director of the Kenya Railways Atanas Maina, who were arrested alongside six others over the SGR compensation scandal.
The Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission (EACC) which had been investigating the matter said the officials expected in court on Monday, even as the LSK secured the release of one of the suspects in the scandal, Caroline Kituyi who is the Registrar of Titles at the Lands Ministry.
“I quickly learned of this arrest and intervened by calling my contact senior officials in the EACC who after listening to our pleas agreed to release her on bond. Caroline will present herself to court on Monday,” he said, citing article 49 of the constitution.
It has been a similar fashion of arrests whenever top officials are targeted, the most recent being that of officials from the Kenya Power and Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) whose officials were rounded up and charged after spending nights in custody during weekends.