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Sonu chairman Babu Owino denies assault charges

University of Nairobi students leader Paul Ongili Owino, alias Babu Owino, was on Thursday charged at Kibera court with assault and causing grevious harm.

Owino is said to have attacked Mike Jacob Odhiambo at a Shell Petrol Station in Kileleshwa, Nairobi.

The accused, who was represented by four lawyers, denied that he committed the offence on March 30 this year, while in company of others not before the court.

A battery of lawyers led by Makueni MP Dan Maanzo raised a complaint before Principal Magistrate Tito Gesora that their client had filed a complaint against the complainant Mike Jacobs, but he was instead charged.

Lawyer George Kithi wondered why Owino’s complaint on him being attacked by the complainant at Kileleshwa Police Station had not been taken up.

His colleague, Dan Bosire had pleaded with the court to summon Kileleshwa District Criminal Investigations Officer (DCIO) to explain why he was being selective in taking up complaints.

“Your honour, we pray that the DCIO Kileleshwa be brought to this court to explain why he took up a case that was reported later than that of my client,” he said.

However, State Counsel Kennedy Muema objected to the application saying the matter can be raised during hearing.

“Your honour, if the accused made a complaint at Kilimani Police Station, then there is no reason to be worried. Once police are through with investigations, they will definitely bring the said case to court. We object the application,” said Mr Muema.


But in response, Mr Bosire argued that the DCIO Kileleshwa was the also incharge of Kilimani Police Station, and that he should have given priority to the case that was reported first.

“Our client reported similar incident even before the complainant in this case. The DCIO should have handled our case first. That is why we request (that) he be summoned,” he said.

However, the magistrate agreed with the prosecution that it was premature to summon the DCIO.

“There are many other avenues for addressing failure by police to perform their work. It won’t be necessary to summon the investigation officer at this stage,” he said.

Mr Gesora released Owino on a Sh200,000 bond with a similar surety or cash bail of Sh100,000. The surety should be accompanied by a contact person.

The case will be mentioned on May 20 and will be heard on July 7 this year.

Immediately after the decision, hundreds of University of Nairobi students who had turned up to show solidarity with Owino, caused commotion as they trooped outside the parked courtroom.

Outside the court, they sang and made some wild allegations over the politics of the students’ union (Sonu).