NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 14 – Two police officers found guilty of killing an Administration Police officer and two other people in Kangemi, Nairobi four years ago have been sentenced to death.
According to the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA), Constables Benjamin Kahindi Changawa and Stanley Okoti were sentenced following an extensive probe into the incident.
The Authority described it as a milestone and reiterated its independence and commitment in safeguarding the rights of victims of police killings.
“IPOA concluded investigations and recommended to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), murder charges and on 27th April 2015, the DPP concurred with IPOA’s recommendations,” the Authority’s Head of Communication and Outreach Department Dennis Oketch stated.
“Consequently, today Justice S.N. Mutuku has sentenced Police Constables Benjamin Kahindi Changawa and Stanley Okoti to death having found them guilty earlier this month,” he said.
The two officers had claimed that the three victims one of them Vitalis Odhiambo Odongo, attached to the late Bomachoge MP Joel Onyancha as a bodyguard and his two relatives were robbery suspects.
Odongo had been shot nine times.
IPOA welcomed the ruling, saying it is an impetus to the war against extra-judicial killings and other police excesses.
The ruling comes a time when IPOA is probing more than 240 killings, with 18 of the deaths happening in the past seven days.
Under Section 25(1) of IPOA Act, the authority is mandated to investigate any death or serious injury including while in police custody, which are the result of police action or were caused by members of the service while on duty.
Upon such an incident, police are required by Section 25(2) of the Act to “take all necessary steps to secure evidence which may be relevant for the investigation, including pictorial and written evidence and shall in writing notify the authority and supply it with the evidence and all other facts relevant to the matter, including if available, the names and contact details of all persons who may be able to assist the authority should it decide to conduct an investigation.”