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Why DPP wants lawyer Assa Nyakundi charged afresh for son’s murder

Th Director of Public Prosecution Noordin Haji has recommended fresh charges against prominent city lawyer Assa Nyakundi for murder of his son, Joseph Nyakundi, in 2019.

This after after the prosecution obtained new evidence in the case from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI). Nyakundi is accused of murdering his 29-year-old son in March 2019.

The lawyers was accused of murdering his son under unclear circumstances but the prosecution opted, at the time, to prefer a manslaughter charge which under Section 205 of the Penal Code attracts life imprisonment upon conviction.

Nyakundi said he was trying to holster his firearm when he accidentally fired and shot his son. He was released on a Sh300,000 bail.

“DPP, Noordin Haji, now wants veteran lawyer, Assa Nyakundi, charged with the murder of his son, Joseph Nyakundi, in 2019. This comes after prosecution led by SADPP, Alexander Muteti and Gikui Gichuhi obtained new evidence from DCI,” the DPP said in a tweet which has since been deleted.

According to a statement recorded at Muthaiga Police Station, on the day of the incident, the lawyer and his son were heading home at 1am on Sunday from ICC Church on Mombasa Road.

The lawyer told police that when he approached his house at Muthaiga North, he reached for his pistol to safeguard it. In the process of holstering it, he claims he accidentally pulled the trigger shooting his son in the chest. His son had been sitting in the back seat of the car.

The lawyer was re-arrested three months later and taken to DCI headquarters for processing ahead of his fresh court appearance.

“He will be in court to face murder,” DCI director George Kinoti said then.

Nyakundi was initially charged with manslaughter, a move Kinoti said was a culmination of a conspiracy by detectives who were handling the case, and who were later interdicted for subverting justice.

“I did not approve that file. The officers who handled it are under investigation,” Kinoti said back then.

The arrest came hours after Kiambu High Court Judge Christine Meoli disqualified herself from hearing the case, citing conflict of interest since they were classmates.

Nyakundi case timeline: 

April 26, 2019 – Nyakundi denied manslaughter charges before Kiambu Principal Magistrate Teresia Nyangena.

May 2, 2019 – The DDP applied to withdraw the manslaughter charges to allow a fresh murder charge.

May 10, 2019 – Nyakundi’s wife, Lydia, told the court that she was no longer willing to testify against the lawyer.

May 18, 2019 – The DPP, through State Counsel Catherine Mwaniki, accused the court of conspiring with the defense to frustrate the intended murder charge.

May 20, 2020 – Nyangena dismissed the application to have the manslaughter charge withdrawn.