Prosecutors fail to turn up in court case against Babu Owino, Calvince ‘Gaucho’
Four state prosecutors on August 24, 2023, failed to turn up in court to prosecute a case against Embakasi East MP Paul Ongili alias Babu Owino and six others arising from the anti-government protests held by the opposition in July 2023.
They include Joseph Riungu, Jacinta Nyamosi, Victor Owiti.
Milimani Chief Magistrate Lucas Onyina heard that the absent prosecutors did not communicate there whereabours or way forward.
The absence triggered the youthful lawmaker to put the entire DPP’s office on notice that he may not be in a position to attend court for the trial next time.
“The DPP is a time waster and has no respect for rights of accused persons. We deserve expeditious justice. This case should have ended today as the witnesses are only four police officers,” stated Owino.
He added: “If l ever fail to attend court no action should be taken against me as the prosecutors have also not come to court and no explanation has been given for their absence.”
Two defence lawyers namely Danstan Omari and Duncan Okatch joined the cue protesting bitterly before Onyina that the prosecution is a big let-down to justice.
“DCI and DPP cannot arrest people bring them to court and fail to turn up to prosecute them. It is not fair administration of justice,” Okatch told Onyina.
The lawyers reminded the court that when Owino, Calvina Gaucho, Tom Odongo, Michael Otieno, Pascal Ouma, Kelvin Wambo and Willy Barak were arrested the prosecutors said they were ready to prosecute the case expeditiously.
“Where are they now? What has happened? Is it because when they were arraigned the accused persons they wanted to exhibit a show of solidarity because there was no DPP or has the newly appointed DPP Renson Ingonga instructed them not to come to court? ” posed Okatch.
They urged the court to put to an end the practice of skipping court by the senior prosecutor during trial of the cases.
The lawyers made scathing attack on the prosecution during the hearing of an application by Calvin ‘Gaucho’ Okoth, a renowned activist, to have policemen appear in court over allegations of assault.
Gaucho claims on July 20, 2023 while detained at Kileleshwa police station, he was attacked by 30 hooded goons who beat him up and injured him.
The activist claimed he is in a position to positively identify one of the police officers.
Gaucho told the magistrate he feared for his life.
Omari urged the court to have the application heard in open court through orally testimony.
But the four absent prosecutor were of the view that the application by Gaucho to have Kileleshwa Officer Commanding Station (OCS) and another officer only identified as Kiprop summoned be heard by way of written submissions.
In a brief ruling, the magistrate adjourned the case to September 5, 2023 to enable prosecutors attend court.
In the case, Babu Owino and six co-accused persons are charged with planning to commit subversive activities.