Attorney-General Kihara Kariuki wants the imminent arrest of Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) George Kinoti for contempt stopped.
Mr Kinoti was last week sentenced to four months in prison for disobeying orders to release seven firearms and ammunitions belonging to businessman Jimi Wanjigi.
The AG wants the implementation of the orders issued by Justice Anthony Mrima last Thursday suspended pending the hearing and determination of his request.
Mr Kinoti is supposed to surrender himself to the officer-in-charge of Kamiti Maximum Security Prison, failure to which Inspector-General of Police Hillary Mutyambai is to arrest him.
But the AG argues that the contempt proceedings were instituted against the wrong party as the custody of civilian firearms rests with the Firearms Licensing Board. Mr Kihara, who has hired lawyer Cecil Miller to argue the matter in court today, says Mr Kinoti does not have any role in respect of civilian firearms.
“The DCI has since written to the Attorney-General instructing them to write to Mr Wanjigi’s advocates and inform them to collect their firearms from the board. By doing so, the DCI has purged the contempt,” says the AG in the court papers.
“Wanjigi maliciously failed to disclose to this court material facts which if were disclosed, the court would have arrived at a different decision,” says Mr Kariuki.
In urging court to suspend the imprisonment of Mr Kinoti, the AG states that the freedom and liberty of the DCI boss is at stake as he stands to suffer irreparable loss and damage.
Mr Kinoti, in his four-page affidavit, says that prior to being sentenced, he had informed Mr Wanjigi that he should get his guns from the board.
On November 16, Mr Wanjigi’s advocates wrote to the chairman of the board requesting it to return the firearms and facilitate the renewal of his licence.
At the centre of the legal dispute is a court order dated June 21, 2019 requiring the DCI to return to Mr Wanjigi the weapons. At the time, Mr Wanjigi’s firearm licence had already been revoked. Court papers indicate that on January 31, 2018, the then secretary of the firearms board Samuel Kimaru revoked Mr Wanjigi’s licence and the same was communicated to him.
By virtue of the revocation, Mr Wanjigi is not allowed to hold, possess or own a firearm.