Babu Owino faces subversion, uttering abusive words charges
What you need to know:
- The legislator was arrested by police officers from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations on Monday a day after he made derogatory remarks allegedly targeting President Uhuru Kenyatta.
- Sporadic protests broke out in Kiambu County early Monday, after angry residents took to the streets to demand the arrest of Mr Owino.
Embakasi East MP Paul Ongili, popularly known as Babu Owino, has been charged with two counts of subversion and uttering abusive words against President Uhuru Kenyatta.
During the court session in Nairobi the prosecution requested the court to deny him bail.
Prosecutor Nicholas Mutuku said the legislator has four previous charges of similar nature.
Mr Mutuku added that the gravity of the offence Mr Owino faces is a compelling reason. His colleague, Catherine Mwaniki, told the Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi that Babu is an influential person and might interfere with witnesses.
Ms Mwaniki said the accused has no fixed home and tracing him might be difficult. She urged the court to balance Babu's rights and public interest.
Ms Mwaniki pointed out that there was public protest following Babu's utterances and his release on bail might lead to more protests. She said the rights of an accused person does not supersede public interest.
In reply, Mr Orengo argued the court to look at the evidence before him and not what the prosecutions imagines.
Mr Orengo says the charges are defective. He said presidency is not a public officer and amorphous, and can run into scores of people.
The legislator was arrested by police officers from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations on Monday a day after he made derogatory remarks allegedly targeting Mr Kenyatta during an opposition rally in Kawangware, Nairobi.
Sporadic protests broke out in Kiambu County early Monday, after angry residents took to the streets to demand the arrest of Mr Owino.
The placard and twig waving-protesters, who barricaded the Kiambu Town’s main road for hours using stones and a huge bonfire said the Orange Democratic Party lawmaker remarks were an insult to Mr Kenyatta and former First Lady Mama Ngina Kenyatta.
Similar protests were witnessed in Githurai where police used teargas to disperse an angry mob which had barricaded the busy Thika Super Highway, in Ruiru Town where a bonfire was lit by residents, who were chanting anti-Owino slogans and at Thindigua along Kiambu Road where the protesters used stones.
The demonstrators said the MP must also apologise to the President and his mothers, saying the remarks were a show of lack of respect to his elders, and accused the government agencies of being selective him handling such matters.