Five police officers will on Wednesday be charged with the death of a man who died a few hours after his arrest in Mombasa County.
The Independent Police Oversight Authority (IPOA) recommended murder charges against Khalif Abdulahi Sigat, James Muli Koti, Joseph Odhiambo Sirawa, Edward Kongo Onchonga and Nelson Nkanae following the death of Mr Caleb Ospino Otieno, who died at Changamwe Police Station in 2018.
An investigation had revealed that Mr Otieno was booked at the station as “unknown” after his arrest at around 6pm on September 18, 2018. He was held on suspicion of being in possession of changaa, an illegal brew.
“But at around 9pm same day, he was removed from the cells and transferred to the Coast General Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival...The investigation established that Mr Otieno’s death was occasioned by multiple injuries inflicted with blunt force,” read a statement from IPOA.
The Office of Director of Public Prosecution independently reviewed the IPOA investigation file and acceded to the recommendations, the statement said.
Four of the officers are already in custody ahead of arraignment at the High Court in Nairobi.
According to the National Police Service Act and Service orders, police officers are expected to use non-violent means first, and that force, when used, must be proportional to the objective to be achieved based on the seriousness of the offence and the resistance of the person against whom it is used.
“When the use of force results in injuries, the police officers present shall provide medical assistance immediately and unless there are good reasons, failing to do so shall be a criminal offence. A police officer who uses any form of force shall immediately, report to his or her superior,” said IPOA.