What you need to know:
- Ms Njoki was to testify in Kikuyu language in the case in which Mr Njenga is facing charges of involvement with an outlawed gang.
- Principal Magistrate Kipkurui Kibelion adjourned the proceedings for 15 minutes so that the elderly woman could be assisted.
When Hannah Njoki took to the stand to testify against her son-in-law, Maina Njenga, the former leader of Mungiki, nothing could have prepared her for the ensuing courtroom drama.
When called up by the prosecution, the elderly woman immediately proceeded to the witness stand, ready to take up a Bible offered by a court assistant for oath-taking.
Ms Njoki was to testify in Kikuyu language in the case in which Mr Njenga is facing charges of involvement with an outlawed gang.
She stood on the left side of the courtroom while facing her son-in-law who was seated in the dock alongside his seven co-accused.
All eyes and cameras were on Ms Njoki, but as she was about to be handed the Bible she started trembling and breathing heavily.
When prodded about what was wrong she said she was unwell.
“My heart is beating fast, my heart is beating fast,” she gasped before she collapsed.
The court attendants rushed to her aid and propped her on a cushioned bench.
In the wake of the commotion, Principal Magistrate Kipkurui Kibelion adjourned the proceedings for 15 minutes so that the elderly woman could be assisted.
She was ushered out through the magistrate’s chambers, leaving behind an astonished courtroom.
The Nation has established that Ms Njoki regained consciousness after first aid was administered by the court assistants.
According to the officers, Ms Njoki said she had skipped her medication for a health condition and she had also not eaten any food that day.
The state counsel Wycliff Omwenga later said Ms Njoki, a key witness in the case, had fallen short of breath due to congestion in the courtroom and a panic attack she experienced upon taking to the stand.
Mr Omwenga said Ms Njoki had fully recovered and will testify on a later date.
This was after the court ruled that the trial will commence after dismissing an application from Mr Njenga to have the case dropped over illegalities.
The defence claimed that the State had converted some accused persons into state witnesses without following the right process.
In the packed courtroom, were supporters of Mr Njenga, members of the public, the defence comprising six lawyers, at least four officers from the ODPP, five court orderlies, two court clerks and the magistrate.
The trial, which was scheduled to take the whole day, was delayed by the application from the defense who had challenged the proceedings.