Court delivers double blow to Kamiti Prison boss Mutembei

Kamiti Maximum Prison boss Charles Mutembei

Kamiti Maximum Prison boss Charles Mutembei (standing) with his co-accused when he appeared before Kahawa Law Courts on November 18, 2021. 

Photo credit: Simon Ciuri | Nation Media Group

A bid by Kamiti Maximum Prison boss Charles Mutembei to contest the legality of a Kiambu court to hear a case against him has flopped. 

Additionally, the court has allowed the police to detain him and 5 other co-accused until Monday when it will rule on whether DCI can hold them for thirty days as investigations continue. 

Mutembei and five senior wardens - Joseph Loklari, Pamela Cherubet, Peter Thuku, Lilian Mukasia and Nicholas Otieno - are accused of aiding three terror convicts escape from prison over the weekend. 

Through lawyers Cliff Ombeta and Dastan Omari, they had argued that the Kahawa Law Courts, a special court that handles terrorism matters, should not handle the case since their alleged offences are criminal and not terror-related.

"The court has no jurisdiction to hear this matter. This is a special court with a specialised magistrate gazetted to hear terrorism matters not criminal. Our client's case should either be at Milimani Law Courts or Kiambu High court which have clear jurisdiction," Omari said in his submissions.

But Senior Principal magistrate Boaz Ombewa said terror acts are a criminal matter that can be tried in any Kenyan court.

"The issue on the jurisdiction and legality of this court to hear the matter is protected in the Constitution. So your objection can not be qualified in court," he said. 

The three terror convicts they are accused of helping escape were captured on Thursday in Kitui County.

The trio is now back behind bars after being airlifted back to the prison


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