Two security guards charged with Mombasa banker’s murder

What you need to know:

  • The suspects are accused of killing Mr Wokabi for allegedly urinating at undesignated area at Nyali Centre.

  • They will be remanded at Shimo La Tewa Prison after the prosecution requested for more time to receive an investigation report.

  • The suspects had requested the court to release them on lenient bond terms saying they were “persons of little means”.

Two security guards have been charged with the murder of a Mombasa-based banker.

Hamisi Karisa and Saidi Mwalugo pleaded not guilty to the offence they are accused of committing on January 7, 2018 in Kisauni Sub-County.

The court heard that the suspects, jointly with others not before the court, killed David Wokabi.

The two denied the charges before High Court Judge Dorah Chepkwony.

The suspects are accused of killing Mr Wokabi for allegedly urinating at undesignated area at Nyali Centre.

REMANDED

They will be remanded at Shimo La Tewa Prison after the prosecution requested for more time to receive a report from the investigating officer to establish whether they should be granted bond or not .

"I have received instructions from (the) investigating officer through Kisauni DCIO to wait for a report. We will be in a position to respond to the bond application in a week’s time," prosecution counsel Erick Masila said.

David Wokabi the Stanbic Bank employee who died following injuries he sustained after a severe beating at Nyali Centre in Mombasa. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

BOND TERMS

The suspects, through lawyer Cherie Oyier, had requested the court to release them on lenient bond terms saying they were “persons of little means”.

"The suspects are merely security guards. They are the only bread winners for their families. I request the court to release them on lenient and reasonable bond terms with an alternative cash bail," she said.

She urged Justice Chepkwony to exercise her discretion according to the law and not allow pressure from the public to be a determining factor when giving bond terms.

"Bond terms should not act as a punishment because they act as securities for the suspects. Let public pressure not guide the court while issuing bond to the suspects," she said.

WITNESS STATEMENTS

She also requested to be supplied with witness statements and any documentary evidence the prosecution seeks to rely on while prosecuting the case.

But Mr Leonard Shimaka, the lawyer representing Mr Wokabi’s family, asked the court not to release the suspects on bond saying they are likely to abscond.

"Based on past experience, the suspects should not be granted bail since they absconded court and a warrant of arrest was issued against them. Also, releasing the suspects will interfere with emotions of the deceased’s family," he said.

Mr Shimaka told the court that the suspects are likely to interfere with witnesses since their accomplices who are still at large have been threatening family members and prosecution witnesses.

"The suspects in the case were nine people but only two have been arrested. The information we have is that our witnesses are receiving threats on their lives from the other suspects who are still at large," he said 

He urged the court to impose stringent bond terms if the suspects are to be released.

HEAD INJURIES

The court heard that the suspects, who are employees of Solvit Security, beat Mr Wokabi who later succumbed to head injuries at the Aga Khan Hospital.

The two were charged afresh with murder after prosecution amended the assault charges they earlier faced.

Mr Wokabi worked at Stanbic Bank at Nyali Centre that also hosts clubs, supermarkets and other businesses.

After the 3am incident, the 34-year-old father of two was rushed to Jocham Hospital for treatment but doctors referred him to the Aga Khan Hospital for specialised treatment.

Mr Wokabi succumbed to the multiple head and neck injuries at the hospital's intensive care unit (ICU) where he had stayed for seven days.

A post-mortem conducted on his body showed that he had a damaged skull and cuts on his neck.

The report concluded that Mr Wokabi died of brain damage due to the severe injuries in his skull which led him into a comma.

Police have since launched a manhunt for three other suspects including their supervisor who are still at large and are suspected to have played a role in the murder of the banker.

The case will be mentioned on February 8, 2018.

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