Activist Mildred Atieno Owiso was teargassed in order to force her out of her Donholm house after she refused to allow the law enforcement officers access the residential unit to effect an arrest, Nairobi regional police commander Philip Ndolo said.
Owiso, Ndolo says, was arrested for inciting the public to violence on Thursday. Owiso recorded herself on video ordering a police officer who had apprehended her over an alleged traffic offence to leave her car, saying it was unlawful for a traffic officer to enter a suspected wrong-doing motorist’s car. The incident happened on Jogoo Road, Nairobi.
After successfully managing to throw the officer out of her vehicle, Owiso was seen in the video charging up the crowd, even accusing the law enforcement officer of being corrupt.
On Saturday, police from Buruburu post were assigned the task of arresting Owiso over the alleged offence.
“The police officers identified themselves, and asked the suspect to open her door so that they could effect an arrest, but the suspect refused to allow the officers in. She locked her door from the inside, making it difficult for the arrest to be made,” Nairobi police boss Philip Ndolo told a local publication.
“Honestly, what would you do if you are a law enforcement officer, and a suspect refuses to let you arrest her over alleged crime? The officers assigned to arrest her followed the lawful procedure – one: identify yourself, two: reveal why you are at the suspect’s premises, three: ask him or her to surrender, four: should he or she refuse, then use any means possible to effect the arrest. That is what we did, and use of teargas to smoke out an uncooperative suspect is not illegal in any way,” added Ndolo.
“We have arrested her in connection with incitement to violence. On Thursday, she recorded herself on video asking a uniformed police officer to leave her car on grounds that no law enforcement officer is allowed to enter a motorist’s car to make an arrest, which is not true, though. After managing to throw the officer out of her car, she started inciting the public against the law officer. Just, what if the crowd had lynched the police officer, what would we be talking about now?” posed Ndolo.
“The said-offence is not the only wrong-doing we have arrested Owiso for. She has several other cases in different police stations that we are following up on. Many a times, she has managed to escape arrest. Yesterday’s offence was the straw that broke the camel’s back,” said the Nairobi police chief.
Ndolo says Owiso will be arraigned on Monday, January 27.