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City lawyer: Take it from me, I’m going nowhere

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Top city lawyer Assa Nyakundi has denied reports that he is on the run after a warrant was allegedly issued for his arrest for skipping a court session.

“There has been no arrest warrant issued against me that I am aware of, or which my legal team has been informed about,” Mr Nyakundi told the Nation in an exclusive interview.

The lawyer spoke Monday at the Milimani Law Courts, where he had gone to represent a client.

Reached for comment, Assistant Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Catherine Mwaniki, who is leading the prosecution, told the Nation that she is not allowed to comment on the matter.

The Director of Communications at the DPP, Mrs Beatrice Omari, also failed to confirm whether the DPP had a warrant for Mr Nyakundi’s arrest.

Mr Nyakundi said that he spent the weekend running errands in Nairobi and in social joints, where he joined other revellers to watch the Uefa Nations League final on Sunday night.

“At no time have I contemplated running away. I am abiding by the court orders and proceedings,” he said.

Mr Nyakundi failed to appear in court on June 5, when Kiambu Senior Principal Magistrate Teresia Nyangena was to determine whether she will recuse herself from the case after she was accused of making an inappropriate contact with the suspect’s lawyers.

READ ALSO:   Brother to city lawyer who fatally shot son speaks

“I did not go to court since the day fell on a public holiday, and as a result, the magistrate set July 5 as the date for a ruling on the matter,” he said.

His failure to appear in court annoyed the prosecution, which saw Ms Mwaniki ask the court the next day to issue a warrant for his arrest. The application led to a showdown between her and Senior Principal Magistrate Brian Khaemba.

While Ms Mwaniki wished to have Mr Nyakundi arrested for contempt of court, Mr Khaemba declined to give the order, saying his senior, Ms Nyagena, still had the lawyer’s file.

Mr Khaemba also rejected her request that he goes through a skeleton of the file and make a ruling.

Since Mr Nyankundi shot his 29-year-old son, Mr Joseph Bogonko, in unclear circumstances on the afternoon of March 17, the incident has sucked in officers from the Judiciary, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP).

It began with Mr Nyakundi’s long stay at a private hospital, where it was said that he was seeking medical attention, and ended with Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti interdicting his officers for bungling the case.

Mr Kinoti accused the investigating officers of intentionally failing to include scene of crime photos, a scene of crime analysis report, or a ballistics report in the trial file.

READ ALSO:   Split in family as lawyer’s son buried quietly at city cemetery

Further, he wants the manslaughter charges substituted with murder, saying that there is sufficient evidence that the shooting was made with the intention to kill.

Already, the DPP has applied to have the charge substituted, a move that the lawyer’s wife, said to have been listed as a prosecution witness, has opposed.

Further, on May 20, Ms Mwaniki filed an application in which she accused the court of having been compromised to influence the outcome of the case.

The case has taken yet another twist with Mr Nyakundi saying he reads malice in the conduct of the DCI and DPP.

 “I will file a constitutional petition at the High Court against the DPP and the DCI for violating my rights,” said Mr Nyakundi, who accuses both the DPP and DCI of exposing him to negative publicity and issuing untruthful information to the public on the ongoing investigation.

The trial of Mr Nyakundi, one of the country’s leading lawyers, makes for a tough battle, given that it pits seasoned prosecutors said to do what it takes to have a suspect convicted against a team of lawyers renowned for saving their clients from the hangman’s noose.

Ms Mwaniki, one of the longest serving public prosecutors, was the head of the murder section at the public prosecutor’s office until June last year, when DPP Noordin Haji moved her to the Extradition and International Cooperation Division.

READ ALSO:   ‘I’ve lost everything’: Lawyer in son’s fatal shooting speaks out

A prosecutor with one of the highest conviction rates, she has a history of working tirelessly to ensure suspects are convicted.

Judiciary insiders say that she is the person to go to when you want to nail high-profile individuals and in complex murder issues.

 In the most recent cases, Ms Mwaniki was the lead prosecutor in the murder cases against journalist Jackie Maribe and Migori County Governor Okoth Obado.

Meanwhile, Mr Nyakundi’s defence team comprises six lawyers, including Mr Cliff Ombeta, the poster boy of the country’s most controversial and emotive trials, and veteran John Khaminwa, whose experiences include being detained alongside his clients.

Dr Khaminiwa was first detained from 1982 to 1983 and again in 1990 during the clamour for multi-party democracy.

In the 1990s, he represented lawyer Rumba Kinuthia in a treason case and won, a rare feat during the Moi era.

Source:nation.co.ke

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DP Ruto calls out NSAC over public gathering rules

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BY KEVIN KOECH

Deputy President William Ruto lashed out at the government for restricting public gatherings in the country.

Ruto was speaking on Sunday the 25th of October 2020 while at a church service in Our Lady of Assumption, Indangalasia Catholic Church, Kakamega.

The second in command blasted the National Security Advisory Committee (NSAC) further condemning the restriction on visiting churches.

“We will not accept the restriction of church services in the country; worship should not be restricted in any way. You cannot be restricted to worship, hold prayer meetings until someone issues a go-ahead,” Ruto said.

Further adding,

“That is not possible. I want to tell those who think our constitutional right to worship God in the manner that we please is going to be conditioned in permission from whoever.”

Not one to sway from what he believes, Ruto defiantly announced he would continue visiting churches.

According to him, he does not need to seek permission to attend church services.

Ruto further added that he attends church services because he believes in God.

He then condemned the government for limiting citizens’ right to worship.

The second in command went on to note that it is impossible to negotiate on religion matters.

READ ALSO:   Top city lawyer arrested for "accidentally" shooting dead his 29-year-old son

“I want to remind government officials, the jubilee government was formed after prayers for I and Uhuru, we cannot be the same government announcing restrictions on worship

“I want to ask public officers, to keep off matters of worship because they are not negotiable, we cannot negotiate on matters to do with worship with anybody or any law,” Ruto said.

Ruto’s visit to the Our Lady of Assumption, Indangalasia Catholic Church was supposed to be on March.

However, he had to postpone it after the coronavirus pandemic hit the nation.

The police also recently refused to approve Ruto’s visit to the church.

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Chebukati weighs in on BBI report  

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BY KEVIN KOECH

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairman Wafula Chebukati has given his two cents on the controversial BBI report.

Chebukati criticized ODM leader Raila Odinga and other stakeholders who came up with the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report, for portraying the election body as single handedly being the issue in every divisive election cycle.

He further lashed out at the BBI team for using the IEBC as a scapegoat through a statement on Friday the 23rd of October 2020.

He also condemned the changes the BBI report is proposing on the IEBC.

“IEBC notes that it has been singled out as the only independent commission and indeed entity whose establishment is sought to be removed by way of the proposed changes in the bbi report under divisive elections thematic area,” he said.

According to Chebukati, the BBI is counteracting some of Kenya’s gains in the election process.

“Additionally, the report claws back on the gains made over the years on electoral management in kenya. This targeted onslaught against the commission is not new as it has been occurring after every general election since 1992.

The sustained campaigns weaken and interfere with the independence of the commission which is guaranteed under article 88 as read together with article 248 and 249 of the constitution of Kenya 2010,” he added.

READ ALSO:   How investigators attempted to cover up lawyer Nyakundi in son’s murder case

Raila has repeatedly called for changes on IEBC starting with commissioners.

According to him, this will increase people’s faith in the independent Commission.

The ODM leader also proposes that IEBC officials should only be in the office for only a three-year term.

They can, however, renew it only once if their tenure was transparent and effective.

The BBI also proposes to do away with the IEBC vice chairperson post who acts when the chairman is absent.

The report also proposes the change of titles to fewer titles such as Head of Department instead of the Director.

Returning officers should also only serve for one general election according to the BBI.

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Ezekiel Mutua hits at Pope Francis after endorsing same-sex civil unions

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BY KEVIN KOECH

Kenya Film Classification Board C.E.O Ezekiel Mutua has hit out at Pope Francis following his remarks on same-sex marriage.

In an interview for his upcoming film dubbed “Francesco” which premiered on Wednesday, October 21, the head of the Catholic Church endorsed same-sex civil unions.

He pointed out that homosexuals are also children of God who need families and should be protected by law.

“Homosexual people have the right to be in a family. They are children of God. What we have to have is a civil union law; that way they are legally covered,” he was quoted in CBS News.

KFCB boss took an issue with the Pope stating that a leader of such stature cannot endorse what is against the order of nature and God’s creation.

He added that Pope Francis should be condemned.

“A leader of the stature of the Pope cannot endorse what’s clearly against the order of nature and God’s plan for family and procreation.

“If he did, he should be condemned and his statement taken with a pinch of salt,” he stated on Saturday, October 24.

Ezekiel Mutua went on to defend Pope Francis saying that he does not believe that he meant to endorse gay union and he might have been misquoted.

READ ALSO:   Top city lawyer arrested for "accidentally" shooting dead his 29-year-old son

He added that however if he indeed meant what he said then his advice should be ignored.

“I honestly do not believe that Pope Francis meant to endorse same-sex marriage, but if he did, then he’s grossly wrong and his advice should be ignored. I believe his statement was in the context of “gay human rights” but not the practice of homosexuality,” he added.

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