The High Court has dismissed an appeal by a man who was fined Sh2 million in default serve an eight-year prison sentence for being in possession of 13 pieces of elephant tusks.
However, Maurice Milimu got a slight reprieve after the court reduced the eight-year jail term to four years.
Justice Anne Ong’injo ruled that the fine imposed was reasonable, but the default sentence of eight years was not explained.
“This court finds that the appeal has no merit in its entirety, and it is dismissed save that the sentence is revised to Sh2 million in default four years’ imprisonment,” ruled Justice Ong’injo who gave Mr Milimu 14 days right of appeal.
Justice Ong’injo further ruled that the seizure (of the tusks) and arrest (of the appellant) were properly conducted and that inconsistencies raised by the appellant were those between what he and the prosecution said.
“The evidence of the prosecution was properly corroborated,” Justice Ong’injo further ruled in her decision.
The judge further noted that the appellant picked out isolated statements and sentences by the prosecution witnesses that do not go to the route of the case to suggest that the investigations were conducted poorly without saying what, in his view, amounted to proper investigations.
Mr Milimo was charged with offense of being in possession of 13 pieces of elephant tusks weighing 28 kilograms with a street value of Sh1.4 million, without a permit.
He was aggrieved by the conviction and sentence, and he filed the appeal on the grounds that the magistrate erred in law and fact in convicting him without considering that the charge as drafted was fatally defective.
Mr Milimu also argued that the Magistrate erred in law and fact in convicting him without considering that the recovery of the alleged items was not properly done as required by the law.
He also argued that the magistrate erred in law and fact in convicting him without considering that the source of his arrest was not well established.
Mr Milimu also argued that the case was poorly investigated thus the conviction could not be attained.
The appellant also told the court that the prosecution’s case was riddled with contradictions, invariances, and inconsistencies and that the driver of the car he was alleged to have been in did not testify and the description of the suspect was wanting.
On its part, the prosecution submitted that it was not clear from the appellant’s submissions which part of the charge sheet was defective and his argument did not go to the substance of the charge.
It also submitted that there were no contradictions in the evidence of prosecution witnesses as they corroborated each other’s evidence.
The prosecution further argued that investigations arrest and recovery were all above board and there was no reason to fabricate him.
Mr Milimu committed the offence on April 22, 2017, at around 1450 hours at Changamwe (Shell Petrol Station) in Changamwe, Mombasa County.