Barasa moves to court to stop imminent arrest

Thursday, August 11th, 2022 21:01 | By

On-the-run Kimilili MP Didmus Wekesa Barasa has petitioned the High Court seeking to stop his imminent arrest and prosecution over the alleged killing of an aide to his rival Brian Khaemba on Tuesday.

In a suit filed under certificate of urgency, Barasa through his lawyer John Khaminwa has asked the court to grant him anticipatory bail pending the hearing and determination of the application.

Khaminwa is seeking orders restraining the IG Police Hillary Mutyambai, Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji (DPP) and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) George Kinoti from arresting and charging his clients with murder charges over the Tuesday evening incident.

“The court do grant the Barasa bail pending arrest on ex-parte basis and hearing of the Application,” read the court papers.

The new development came as the DPP ordered the arrested and prosecution of Barasa over the Tuesday incident at Chebukwani Polling Station while the tallying was being undertaken.

Haji yesterday ordered Barasa to be apprehended in order to record a statement, and have the relevant file availed to the office of the DPP for action.

Record statement

Barasa has been on the run after he allegedly shot dead a security guard of his closest rival Brian Khaemba of DAP-K party on the 6pm incident that took place at Chebukhwabi Primary School in Kibingei ward on August 9.

In his application in court, the MP wants to be granted bail pending his arrest so that his rights to life can be protected.

“ The Applicant is an aspirant, defending his seat at Kimilili Constituency and law abiding citizen who shall abide with Court terms if granted bail. It is paramount that the court grant him bail pending arrest so that his Right to fair trial is not hindered, “ Khaminwa says.

The lawyer further states that Barasa is aware of the importance abide by the Rule of Law and if granted bail pending arrest, he will present himself willingly to the authorities so that the full force of law can be exerted. Khaminwa says that his client is apprehensive that if arrested by police his movement would be restricted.

Court documents show that the lawyers says that the media and social media users misquoted Barasa over the Tuesday incident that he shot and killed Brian Olunga the aide to his opponent Khaemba, following altercations among the aspirants at the Chebukwani polling station.

“The local dailies have misquoted the story and scandalized the issue and painted a bad picture of Barasa who is a known leader within the country and Bungoma County, “ says the lawyer.

Surrender firearm

Police had last year tried in vain to revoke the licence of the firearm that Barasa allegedly used to kill his opponent’s aide on Tuesday evening.

On March 4 last year, Barasa, Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei, Wilson Kogo and Nelson Koech were arrested for planning to cause chaos and intimidating voters during the Kabuchai by-election, where they were found with weapons in their cars.

Barasa was charged in court but on January 31, he was acquitted. Bungoma Resident Magistrate John Mugute said there was no clear enough evidence to show that the legislator was planning to cause chaos.

As a result, the Firearms Licensing Board (FLB) and the DCI directed him to surrender his firearm but he declined. The DCI then wrote to the FLB to cancel his licence but Barasa rushed to court.

The firearm certificate may be revoked if the holder is of intemperate habits or unsound mind, or is believed to be a threat to public safety and peace. According to the Firearms Act, only those who can use the firearm without danger to the public safety or peace should be issued with licences.

In a Notice of Motion dated March 8, 2021, Barasa moved to Milimani Court where the IG Police, FLB, DCI and Attorney General were indicated as the respondents.

“It is hereby ordered that a conservatory order be and is hereby issued staying the decision of the Firearms Licensing Board (2nd respondent herein) communicated vide press release dated March 5, 2021 revoking the Applicant’s (Hon Didmus Barasa firearm licence for 14 days,” Justice Mrima ordered.

Yesterday, Kinoti said they had tried in vain to disarm the lawmaker after getting several complaints that he “was a person not to be in possession of a firearm” but the courts stood on their way.

“We tried our best to disarm him through the legal process but the very courts we thought could assist us protect the lives of civilians, decided to come to his aid,” Kinoti told People Daily.

On Wednesday, the security team in Bungoma led by County Commissioner Samuel Kimiti gave the legislator 24 hours to surrender to police as Kinoti dispatched a special team to Bungoma and neighbouring Uasin Gishu to track down the MP.

Sources at the DCI intimated to the People Daily that the controversial lawmaker could be hiding in the residence of a prominent politician from Rift Valley.

“We have dispatched a specialised team of detectives from the Crime Research and Intelligence Bureau and homicides to track him down. Serious action will be taken against any person found to be harbouring irrespective of his standing in society,” Kinoti warned.

- Reporting by Nancy Gitonga, Yusuf Masibo and Zadock Angira

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