3 Garissa policemen face murder charges after boda boda rider's death
The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) has approved murder charges against three police officers in Garissa County, following the death of a boda boda rider based there.
Benson Mulinge, Michael Rotich and Osoi Sakimba, police constables at Madogo Police Station, are facing these charges following a recommendation by the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (Ipoa), which investigated the matter.
The Ipoa launched a probe after the death of boda boda rider Ibrahim Isaack Gutu, who was arrested by the three officers on May 30, 2014 and later found dead in a thicket.
The ODPP believes that circumstances point to the conclusion that the three police officers may have murdered Gutu.
“Their evidence does not exonerate the officers from the scene of crime as they were all within the Madogo area on the night the deceased was arrested,” the ODPP said in a statement..
According to the Ipoa, officers Mulinge, Rotich and Sakimba arrested Gutu and bundled him into a private car belonging to one of them.
However, after arresting Gutu, the officers did not book him at any police station for any offence. His body was later discovered at a thicket within the Shabaha area in Garissa.
The next day, Gutu’s family went to Madogo Police Station with an inquiry on why he had been arrested and the charges he would face, but did not find him there. Also unavailable were his records in the occurrence book.
Gutu’s body was discovered two days later by a herder who knew him. The herder told investigators that the body had rubber bands around the neck, and that it had started to decompose. He further said that the wrist had handcuff marks.
Ipoa investigators interviewed at least thirteen witnesses, who said they saw the police officers, who are well known to them, apprehending Gutu and taking him away in a private vehicle, registration number KAR 317 U.
The witnesses said the officers drove towards Garissa town and then took a turn towards Nairobi.
An autopsy at the Garissa Provincial Hospital mortuary found Gutu died from a gun shot.