ACQUITTED

Senator’s bodyguard set free in lost pistol case

Charged with losing pistol and ammo, but court said police failed to hold a hearing, failed to show negligence

In Summary
  • Corporal Sigei reported he was accosted by three armed men and a woman who stole his pistol and ammo.
  • The court said police did not first hold a proper enquiry enquiry into the lost firearm and rushed to court instead, which was improper. Negligence was not proved, he said.

A Makadara court has acquitted a police officer attached to the VIP section who was charged with losing a pistol and ammunition and failing to ensure the safety of a firearm.

Corporal Peter Sigei attached to Bomet Senator Christopher Langat had been charged with failing to take all reasonable precautions to ensure safety his Ceska pistol.

The court heard that on April, 29, 2019, on Pipeline Estate in Embakasi, Nairobi, the officer failed to ensure safety of his pistol and 12 rounds of 9mm ammunition.

He denied the charges.

“The prosecution has not proven beyond reasonable doubt that the accused person failed to take all reasonable precautions to ensure that firearm or ammunition was not lost,” Makadara chief magistrate Heston Nyaga said

Acquitting  him on Friday last week, Nyaga said there had to be an enquiry into the loss of a firearm, recovered or not, before the accused was rushed to court. There was none.

“From his defence, the accused person laments that an inquiry ought to have been opened but he was rushed to court instead. Although he himself did not strictly follow the procedure under Section 19 of the Standing Orders, this did not give leave for the rest of the investigating team to depart from the procedure, too,” Nyaga said.

The court heard the  firearm was recovered on May, 25,2019, during a robbery  in Embakasi.

Investigating officer inspector Lawrence Mwongela testified that on April, 30, 2019, DCI told him to investigate.

He said he established the accused had made a report on April 29, at 4.17pm that he had been attacked by a gang of three men and a woman who took his phone, Sh14,000, his ID card and certificate of appointment.

But in the report he did not say he had lost his pistol and ammunition. Later at 11pm, he reported at Lang'ata police station that he had lost his firearm.

Mwongela said that he charged the accused because of the suspicious manner in which he made the report.

The court heard that on May 25, the firearm was recovered during a robbery on Tassia Estate where the robbers were shot dead by police.

In his defence, the accused testified that on April 29, the senator had a radio talk early in the morning.

He was living at Transami and at 4am, he walked towards the bus stop. He was then accosted by a group of four, two of them with  Ceska pistols. He said they frisked him and took his firearm, ammo, cash and documents.

He said that he panicked and went back to his house until daylight. He then reported the theft to Embakasi police station.

Through his lawyer Jared Juma, the accused said that the firearm having been recovered, it was not shown that he had prior arranged appropriate contact with the armed robber.

Nyaga further said the procedure the accused person used may not be the one strictly laid out, but it doesn’t illustrate that he failed to take all reasonable precautions to ensure  the firearm or ammunition was not lost.

 

(Edited by V. Graham)