Baby Sagini placed under state protection as case proceeds
Baby Junior Sagini, the three-year-old boy whose eyes were gouged out in Kisii, is currently under state protection and anyone who wants to help or support him needs to comply with the law, a lawyer holding a brief for boy has said.
Lawyer George Morara added that the interest and safety of the child comes first, and therefore due process must be followed.
Early this month, Baby Sagini went missing for hours before he was found dumped at his uncle’s maize plantation in Marani, Kisii County, with his eyes gouged out.
In an interview with the Daily Nation on Thursday, Mr Morara dismissed claims by former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko that his efforts to fly Sagini out for specialised treatment were being hindered by unnamed politicians in Kisii.
The lawyer said nobody had stopped Mr Sonko from helping Baby Sagini. He, however, advised the former governor to follow the law if he genuinely wants to help the child.
When suspects were charged with the attempted murder of Baby Sagini, the court ordered that the child should be placed under the protection of the Child Welfare Society of Kenya.
“At the moment, the government is the custodian of the baby because of the serious security breach he has suffered. Mr Sonko needs to understand that there are laws and procedures to be followed before Baby Sagini is handed over to anyone wishing to help him.”
Some individuals had even tried to forcefully take Baby Sagini away, Mr Morara said. “It has been reported that security officers manning the state facility where baby Sagini is were recently attacked by some individuals who wanted to access the boy,” he said, adding that, “the safety of Baby Sagini and his sister is vested on the government solely.”
Mr Morara is representing the Welfare Society of Kenya, Kisii Centre Administrator Mr Thomas Nam, Kisii County Children’s Coordinator Beatrice Obutu and the Kisii County Government Attorney Alfred Ongiri Nyandieka as interested parties.
He pointed out that there were specific legal procedures that Mr Sonko has to fulfil before taking the child for the specialised medication.
On Tuesday, Sonko alleged that he has been trying to gain access to Baby Sagini so that he can take him overseas for specialised medication. The former governor claimed that politicians were playing with the baby’s health and preventing him from helping the child.
Speaking to the Daily Nation on Tuesday, Mr Sonko said the boy has missed two appointments with an eye specialist in Nairobi because he has not been allowed to access the child.
“We have been trying to reach out to the family of Baby Sagini to take him to a private hospital in Nairobi in vain,” he added.
The former Nairobi County chief said he had identified a special eye clinic in China where Baby Sagini could receive specialised surgery and have sensors placed in his eye-sockets to help with movement.
“We had contacted a Chinese eye facility; Dennis Lam Eye Hospital, which conducts successful eye implants, and [it] linked us with a Kenyan hospital to take the boy for check-up and report but we have failed to get him,” Mr Sonko said.
Meanwhile, the lawyer has asked for people to respect Baby Sagini’s privacy, especially people who have been peddling rumours on the reasons why he was attacked and left for dead.
“The privacy of the child is domiciled in Article 19 of the Children’s Act. If you go back and check when this heinous act occurred, and before even the suspects were arrested, each and every person has been advancing a theory of explaining the reasons why the Baby Sagini had his eyes gouged out.
“Many have talked about rituals while others have talked about traditional cults. But the fact is that Baby Sagini as a child should be protected under the law,” said Mr Morara.