Two police officers who had been sentenced to death have had their sentence reduced to to 10 years by the court of appeal. Stanley Okoiti and Benjamin Kahindi were found guilty of killing thrie colleague who was attached to Bobarbu Mp’s home in Nairobi.
Reduction of the sentence was based on the fact that the two are family men and had clean records of service with no disciplinary records at the police force.
Court-of Appeal also set the jail terms to commence from November 1, 2018 when High Court judge Stella Mutuku convicted the two.
While delivering the ruling, Justices William Ouko and Agnes Murgor said the officers were first offenders and had served in the force between 20 and 30 years.
Their colleague Judge Fatuma Sichale was however of a different opinion as she declined to sign the judgement delivered on Friday.
“The judgement is delivered in accordance with Rule 32(2) of this court’s rules, Sichale, JA, being of a different opinion having declined to sign it,” read part of the ruling.
Rule 32(2) provides that in criminal applications (other than applications heard by a single judge) and criminal appeals, one judgement shall be given as the judgement of the court. It can happen when one judge has died, ceased to hold office, or is unable to perform the functions because of infirmity of mind or body, or when one judge has refused to sign the judgement, but the presiding judge may direct that separate judgements be given.
Though Justices Ouko and Murgor reduced the sentence, they dismissed the appeal on conviction on the grounds that the prosecution established beyond any reasonable doubt that Constable Joseph Onchuru and his two relatives – Geoffrey Nyabuto and Amos Makori did not deserve the manner in which they were killed on October 7, 2014 at M-Club in Kangemi area of Nairobi.
The deceased (Onchuru) was attached to the then Bomachoge Borabu MP, the late Joel Onyancha’s rhome in Loresho.
Onchuru had picked his two relatives after work on the fateful evening and proceeded to the M-club where he sat outside without a drink while his two relatives remained inside the club.
The officer later took to the dancing floor with a female bar attendant who realized that he was armed and alerted the club security.
Onchuru is said to have shown the watchman the pistol instead of identifying himself and that is when confrontation ensued, forcing his two relatives to join in.
The watchman is said to have overpowered the three and locked Onchuru inside a kitchen at the club while a supervisor called the police.
But it appears like the information relayed by the police control room in Nairobi Area through police radio was that there was an ongoing robbery at the club,” read part of the judgement.
That is when Kahindi and Okoiti who were armed with AK47 riffles responded and killed Onchuru and his relatives.