Itumbi offers to hire lawyer for Nuru Okanga after he was charged with insulting Ruto
Digital strategist Dennis Itumbi has offered to hire a lawyer for political buff Nuru Okanga after he was on Thursday charged with insulting President William Ruto.
Okanga, who was arrested on Wednesday, was charged before Milimani Chief Magistrate Lucas Onyona with publishing false information on his YouTube channel - Riba News (@ribanews) - on November 20, 2023.
Itumbi, in a statement shared on his social media platforms, criticized the decision to charge the Azimio la Umoja - One Kenya coalition supporter, saying it was ill-informed.
"I completely disagree with the idea of arresting bloggers for insulting the president. Whoever is doing it wacheni kabisa (stop it)," Itumbi wrote while sympathizing with opposition leader Raila Odinga's die-hard supporter.
He requested one of his lawyers, Waithera Kinuthia, to represent the suspect in court at his (Itumbi) cost.
"Please wakili @W_Kinuthiah, if Nuru Okanga agrees represent him in court at my cost," he said.
Itumbi, who was in March appointed Chief Administrative Secretay (CAS) in the Ministry of ICT and Digital Economy, indicated that the President was not interested in legal battles with bloggers.
"There actually exists a right to offend, shock, or disturb. I know for a fact that President @WilliamsRuto has serious stuff to do and is not interested in such drama and arrests, he does not even know about it. So who exactly is the complainant? Wachaneni na bloggers, wajiexpress! Tafuteni kazi ingine (stop harassing bloggers, let them express themselves! Find something else to do)," he added.
Itumbi, a seasoned blogger, has himself had several brushes with the law over his social media posts.
He was in 2019 charged with spreading false information alleging a plot to assassinate Ruto, who was at the time serving as deputy president in retired President Uhuru Kenyatta's administration.
The digital guru, however, got a reprieve in June this year after the court cleared him of the charges.
While discharging the criminal charges against Itumbi and his co-accused Samuel Gateri, Milimani Chief Magistrate Susan Shitubi ruled that the section under which the two were charged was unconstitutional.
"It is very unfortunate that l am acquitting the accused persons at the tail end of the hearing of the case. However, the law allows me to acquit the accused if it emerges the section under which they were charged was unconstitutional. I will therefore proceed to acquit the two accused persons under section 87(b) of the Criminal Procedure Code," Magistrate Shitubi ruled.
Itumbi and Gateri had been put on their defence for allegedly forging a letter suggesting that a senior government official in Uhuru's regime had hatched a plot to eliminate Ruto, now Head of State.