Has IG Japhet Koome reached out to Raila in ICC debate?
Vihiga Senator Godfrey Osotsi now claims Inspector General of Police (IG) Japhet Koome has reached out to Azimio la Umoja – One Kenya leader Raila Odinga in a bid to convince him not to press charges against him at the International Criminal Court (ICC).
According to the politician who is a close ally of Odinga, the top police boss has approached Mr Odinga’s associates, asking them to calm him and prevent him from seeking justice at the Hague-based court.
However, politician allied to the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party insisted on pursuing charges against Mr Koome.
He made the statement on August 12, 2023, while addressing mourners in Luanda, Vihiga County during the burial of two brothers who were fatally shot by the police during protests.
Azimio insists the IG should take responsibility since the shoot to kill orders during the recent anti-government demonstrations originated from him.
“I have a secret that I would like to bring into the public eye; he (Koome) approached some Azimio lawmakers, asking them to plead with Baba (referring to Mr Raila Odinga) not to implicate him at the ICC,” Senator Osotsi said.
He added, “Just imagine, he was trying to sooth us we speak to Baba. That’s why he went silent.”
Although Mr Osotsi’s allegations couldn’t be independently verified, he claimed that IG Koome’s recent twist, alleging that Azimio hired bodies from mortuaries and alleged they were protestors shoot by police, is indicative of his fear of the consequences of his directives.
“Currently, he has come up with baseless claims. Even mortuary operators have come out strongly, demanding he disclose the mortuaries involved in such activities, specifying the dates and amounts paid,” explained the outspoken Senator.
In response to IG Koome’s claims, Mr Odinga labeled them as unfortunate remarks coming from a senior police official heading the country’s security docket.
The opposition leader, however, questioned Koome’s integrity, stating that he isn’t suitable for such a position.
The IG, when raising the allegations, did not confirm the accuracy of the information.
These claims have drawn sharp criticism from Azimio, human rights organizations, and a segment of Kenyan citizens, who are demanding an explanation from him.
Although protests have been temporarily halted to facilitate bipartisan discussions, Mr Odinga led nationwide demonstrations aimed at compelling the Kenya Kwanza government to address the escalating cost of living.
Incidents of deaths caused by police gunfire and injuries were documented, with President William Ruto commending the police officers for their efforts in quelling the riots.