A Kiambu court has allowed the withdrawal of a case in which 3 inmates at the Kamiti medium prison assaulted a police officer at the correctional facility in 2018.
Kiambu Chief Magistrate Ms. Patriciah Gichohi allowed the case to be withdrawn after the complainant availed himself in court and stated that he so wished to withdraw the case against the 3 inmates who are remanded at the prison for other cases.
The trio, Benjamin Muya Ngumbi, Maingi Musenya and Jaffer Hassan Asunda had been charged that on 19th January 2018 at the Kamiti Medium Prison within Nairobi County, jointly and unlawfully assaulted NO.2008184476 PC Nelson Okari Gituambu occasioning him actual bodily harm contrary to section 251 of the penal code.
They all pleaded not guilty and the case was given a hearing date. As the hearing process began, they applied for their case to be transferred from the trial court at that time saying they were not happy with the manner in which it was being conducted.
The assault case was then taken over by the senior most court at the Kiambu law courts and along the way, the complainant appeared in court yesterday and after swearing himself told the virtual court that he wished to withdraw from the case.
The virtual proceedings took place while the magistrate was in her chambers, the prosecutor and the court clerk in the court while the remandees were linked to the proceedings on zoom and could be heard responding to the proceedings.
Upon telling the court that he intended to withdraw from the case as the remandees had stayed at the prison long enough and that they had learnt a lesson, the second accused said he did not agree with him. “I do not accept that and I personally wish to continue with my case” he said to the amusement of those in court.
For the prosecution, Ms Wamae Mutile told the court that the office of the director of public Prosecution (ODPP) did not wish to continue with the case since the complainant was in court and had opted to discontinue proceedings against them.
She added that if any of the accused persons felt dissatisfied, they could explore other options of seeking redress on grounds of unlawful prosecution.
The magistrate therefore discharged them under section 204 of the penal code. This section does not allow police to revive the case at any one time in future.
On the other hand, had they been released on section 87(a) the same charges can be preferred against them in future if police wished to revive the case.
By Lydia Shiloya