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Babu Owino to stay behind bars for a week

Monday January 20 2020
By RICHARD MUNGUTI

Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi has directed that Embakasi East MP Babu Owino be remanded for seven days to await a pre-bail report from the probation department.

The MP, real name Paul Ongili, denied an attempted murder charge at the Milimani Law Courts on Monday, after shooting DJ Felix Orinda, popularly known as DJ Evolve, at B Club in Kilimani, Nairobi.

He also denied a charge of behaving in a disorderly manner while carrying a firearm, by firing at Mr Orinda,.

VICTIM'S EVIDENCE

The incident occurred in the early hours of Friday morning last week.

Mr Andayi called for the victim's evidence to be presented in court before he decides whether to release Mr Owino on bond.

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“Given the gravity of the offence, this court is of the view that the victims' views need to be incorporated so that this court can arrive at a fair decision on the accused’s bail application,” he said.

STATE'S ARGUMENTS

The State, through prosecutor Jacob Ondari, opposed Babu's release on bond on grounds that he will interfere with witnesses.

Mr Ondari said the MP had already attempted to reach out to the father of the victim.

He added that they had tangible evidence that would lead to a conviction, which would attract a life sentence.

“The complainant, who was shot in the neck, is in a [critical] condition,” Mr Ondari said, adding that the MP is facing another criminal case in Kibera.

THE DEFENCE

Defence lawyers Ombeta, Dunstan Omari and Duncan Okatchi urged the court to grant the MP bond, saying he demonstrated good intentions by paying Sh600,000 for the victim's bill at Nairobi Hospital.

“The prosecution has not presented any cogent evidence to proof interference of witnesses by the MP,” Mr Ombeta added.

“The accused had been in police custody since January 17. How will he interfere with witnesses?"

Mr Ombeta further noted that bail is a constitutional right and that all are equal in law, regardless of their status.

He also told the court that the MP will go to court as he has no history of absconding and has to serve his constituents.

“The accused is married with children aged nine, four and one. His wife is in court ... they all depend on him,” he added.

Regarding the claim of a case in Kibera, he said: “Mr Owino has never been charged before a Kibera court."

PRISON

Mr Owino spent the weekend in custody following the shooting.

Detectives have searched his home in Kileleshwa and conducted a DNA test to firm up the case against him.

The legislator will be held in prison, not a police station, as his defence team, led by lawyer Cliff Ombeta, requested.

The ruling on Babu's bond application will be delivered on January 27.

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