Politics

Protect me, DCI boss George Kinoti urges court

Protect me, DCI boss George Kinoti urges court

Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti.

The Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) George Kinoti is seeking to stop his imminent arrest by the Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai for disobedience of court orders.

Mr Kinoti wants court to suspend implementation of the orders issued by Justice Anthony Mrima on Thursday.

Justice Mrima sentenced the top detective to four months in prison for failing to obey a court order requiring him to return seven firearms and ammunitions belonging to businessman and ODM party presidential hopeful candidate Jimi Wanjigi.

According to Justice Mrima's ruling, Mr Kinoti is supposed to surrender himself to the officer-in-charge of Kamiti Maximum Security Prison with a view of serving the jail term before Wednesday next week, failure to IG Mutyambai arrests him.

But Mr Kinoti argues that the orders are threatening his duties to the society and to cause him to suffer "unfathomable and irreparable damage to the office he holds with duties and mandate he ought to protect the security of the country and international region".

Hence, he says, it would be detrimental and causing him irreparable loss and damage resulting to insecurity and terrorism investigations he continues to conduct.

At the centre of the legal dispute is a court order dated June 21, 2019 requiring the DCI to return to Mr Wanjigi the weapons when his (Wanjigi's) firearm licence had already been revoked by government.

Court papers indicate that on January 31, 2018 the then secretary of the Firearms Licensing Board Samuel Kimaru revoked Mr Wanjigi's firearm licence and the same was communicated to him.

By virtue of the said revocation, Mr Wanjigi is not allowed to hold, possess or own a firearm unless the licence is reinstated by the Board.

Mr Kimaru, in the letter addressed to Mr Wanjigi, had also asked the businessman to surrender his firearm certificate alongside the seven guns and ammunitions latest by February 1, 2018. The weapons are listed as four Glock Pistols and three rifles.

Court documents further indicate that some of the weapons subject to the case do not belong to the businessman while others cannot be held by a civilian and releasing them to him would be in violation of the Firearms Act.

Mr Kinoti had also denied being in custody of Mr Wanjigi's weapons as he explained that civilian firearms are held by the Chief Firearm Licensing officer.

"My office only hold guns that have been recovered from crime scenes, police issue and not the civilian firearms. I am well aware that Wanjigi's licence was revoked by the Firearms Licensing Board and not by my office amd hence he should pursue his firearms from the Chief Firearm Licensing Board," stated Mr Kinoti.

His attempts to get an immediate suspension of his imprisonment order flopped on Friday after Judicial Review judge Anthony Ndung'u declined to grant his request.

“I have considered the application. Whereas the matter is urgent given the imminent incarceration of the applicant (Kinoti) and noting that the impugned orders are by a judge of the High Court and cognizant of the court's jurisdiction in judicial review and the limitations thereto, it is my considered view that this is not an appropriate case for grant of the sought orders ex-parte,” said Justice Ndung'u.

He directed Mr Kinoti's lawyer to furnish Mr Wanjigi with the court papers and have the matter mentioned tomorrow.

In his bid to avoid jail, Mr Kinoti says he is willing to pay Sh200,000 or its equivalent instead of the custodial sentence issued as he is currently into several national investigations for the security purposes of the country.

He also says the process that led to him being cited in contempt and the issuance of orders for his arrest is irregular and that the same has been marred by gross and material non-disclosure and bad faith.

"The judge erred in both law and fact in issuing the court order of November 18 and issuing a custodial sentence without an option of fine despite the crucial office Mr Kinoti holds to serve the people of this republic. The judge relied on his own conjunctures to issue excessive terms in disregard of Kinoti's duty, responsibility, homage and fealty," reads the court papers filed on his behalf by Owino McDowell & Co Advocates.