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How sacked KDF officer ‘linked’ Army boss Francis Ogolla with Raila’s maandamano

A sacked Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) officer has been charged with publishing false information on social media.

Corporal Franklin Opiyo Ongoji appeared before Milimani magistrate Ben Mark Enhubi and denied four counts of publication of false information and cyber harassment.

The accused is reported to have claimed on his Facebook account that the Chief of the General Staff Francis Ogolla was funding the recent anti-government demonstrations called by Azimio leader Raila Odinga.

The protests were led by the opposition with the aim of putting pressure on President William Ruto to lower the cost of living.

Ogonji was sacked from Kenya Defence Forces in 2019 after he was charged at the court martial with stealing dry food rations from the Moi Airbase in Nanyuki.

He was accused of stealing a lorry fully parked with sugar, army biscuits, canned meat, beans, pineapples, jam, and minced meat running into hundreds of millions.

In the recent case, state prosecutor Virginia Kariuki stated that Ogonji published on his Facebook account namely Frank Mac Poyoz words to the effect that ” …. Francis Omondi Ogolla is funding maandamano (demonstrations) usiku wanakutana na Rao (Raila Amollo Odinga) Mchana ako na WSR (President William Samoei Ruto). Waende jela, they are criminals we will stand with our able President WSR (at night Ogolla meats Raila and dines with the President during the day).

The charge stated Ogonji knew those words to be false and calculated to cause panic and chaos among the citizens of Kenya.

The former KDF officer also faced another charge of publishing false information that “Handshake generated Airforce Commanders paid nine DCI Officers Sh 200,000 each to kill me but God saved me.”

He allegedly published the said false information on December 9, 2022.

On June 11, 2023, Ogonji is accused of harassing the chief of General Staff Ogolla by publishing words “… Ogolla do the honorable thing resign and join Rao on the streets, Shame on you.”

Further, Ogonji denied that on July 24, 2023, he published false information to the effect that “Gerald Akoko Ogonji rumours has it you were behind my abduction with Francis Omondi Ogolla only time will tell if you are above the law.”

The investigation officers from DCI Headquarters have listed General Ogolla as the first prosecution witness in the case against the former KDF office.

Applying to be released on bond Ogonji claimed he feared for his life as one of the investigation officers whom he identified in court had threatened to kill him and throw him in River Yala.

“This will be my last arrest. If l continue committing other offences the officer will kill me and throw me to River Yala,” said Ogonji.

He further claimed he had been abducted and taken to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) offices over unknown offences.

He shocked the court by claiming that during the illegal detention, he was chained both hands and legs and held incommunicado.

While pleading for free bond, the former KDF officer said he was facing an illegal case which Independent Police Oversight Authority (IPOA) is currently investigating.

He applied to be released on a reasonable bond and informed court that his two mobile phones have been confiscated by police.

He was freed on a cash bail of Ksh 50,000 with one contact person and warned from publishing false information against the complainants.

The case will be mentioned on September 20 for pre-trial.

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