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Uber driver charged with abducting police officer

A Uber driver has been charged with abducting a senior police officer who had allegedly arrested him over a traffic offence.

Francis Karanja Wango faced three counts of abduction, resisting arrest, and causing an obstruction on a public road.

Wango denied the three counts when he was charged before Milimani chief magistrate Susan Shitubi.

He denied that he abducted Inspector Joseph Asugo on March 22, 2023, along Ngong Road within Nairobi County.

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) told the court the accused intended to detain the complainant for an alleged illegal motive.

“I urge this court to free me on bond as it is both my constitutional and fundamental right,” Wango prayed.

He added that he is not a flight risk and no compelling reasons have been advanced by the prosecution to warrant the court exercise its discretion otherwise.

But the state prosecutor urged the court to take judicial notice that the case against the Uber driver is not an ordinary traffic case but an abduction case which attracts a harsh penalty upon conviction.

“I urge this court to take judicial notice that the accused herein is charged with abducting a senior police officer with intend to secretly and wrongfully confine the law enforcer for a ulterior motive,” the prosecutor told Ms Shitubi.

The prosecutor urged the court to impose stringent bail terms if it was inclined to exercise its discretion in his (wango’s) favour..

But the magistrate freed Wango on a cash bail of Sh200,000 saying severity of charges cannot be used as reason to deny the accused bond or impose stringent terms.

“Bail is a constitutional right and unless there are compelling reasons a suspect should not be denied the same,” ruled Ms Shitubi.

Ms Shitubi however required the accused to comply with the bail terms by turning up in court during his trial and shun interfering with witnesses.

The court directed the prosecution to supply him with exhibits and witness statements to prepare his defence.

The case will be mentioned within a fortnight for pre-trial directions.

Besides the abduction charge, Wango was accused of resisting arrest.

The court heard Insp Asugo was discharging his lawful functions as a police officer when the accused opposed his arrest and incarceration.

Further Wango was charged with causing an obstruction on a public road around 10.30 hours along Ngong Road and Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC) main gate on March 22, 2023.

Wango was driving a motor vehicle registration number KCW 366G make Mazda Demio when he allegedly obstructed other road users. He allegedly inconvenienced other motorists.

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