alexa Court grants bail to man in gun drama - Daily Nation

Court grants bail to man in gun drama

Friday January 6 2017

Chris Philip Okeyo Obure

Businessman Chris Philip Okeyo Obure is escorted to the Kilimani Police Station in Nairobi on January 4, 2017 after he was arrested for allegedly misusing a firearm. The court has granted him bail. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

ANGIRA ZADOCK
By ANGIRA ZADOCK
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A Nairobi businessman has been arraigned for assaulting and causing bodily harm to a partygoer.

Chris Philip Okeyo Obure is accused of threatening Ben Alila Onyango, 30, with a gun outside a club in Kilimani, Nairobi, on December 31 last year.

Mr Obure, who is eyeing the Dagoretti North parliamentary seat, denied the charges and was released on Sh20,000 cash bail with an alternative bond of Sh50,000 with one surety.

Defence lawyers Evans Ondieki and Stanley Kang’ahi had applied to have the accused released on bond, saying "he is not a flight risk".

Mr Ondieki told Senior Principal Magistrate Joyce Gandani that Mr Obure surrendered to police after the incident and surrendered his firearm.

The lawyer also said the offence is a misdemeanour and therefore the penalty cannot be severe.

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"I urge this court to grant a reasonable cash bail to the accused, who has exhibited good conduct by walking to the police for interrogation and subsequent charging," Mr Ondieki said.

The court also heard that the accused is a businessman with political interests in Dagoretti North and "therefore cannot jump bail".

The prosecution did not oppose the bail request. The case will be heard on March 9.

The suspect was arrested on Wednesday after being trailed by detectives from around 10am, when they got wind that he had gone to the National Police Service headquarters in Nairobi to file a complaint against a senior police officer.

He was instead referred to the county headquarters, where he found detectives waiting for him.

Speaking to the Nation, Kilimani police division commander Peter Kattam confirmed that the man they were holding was Mr Obure, and that he was arrested after the police launched a manhunt for him following complaints from the public that he was misusing his gun.

"We have also recovered the firearm which was issued to him and I think we are ready now to proceed with the matter at this point," he said.

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Mr Kattam said the suspect had left his car, a black Range Rover, at his residence and was picked up by an unknown person in a green Mercedes Benz.

A security guard at the gate told the detectives that there was no one in the house and that Mr Obure's wife had taken the child to school.

The OCPD confirmed that the businessman is a licensed gun holder who acquired his permit on November 13, 2012.

"This is proof that he is allowed to acquire a firearm but of course we are going to subject this book to verification to confirm whether it is genuine at our records with the firearms bureau," he said.

Mr Kattam confirmed that the businessman has been involved in many gun-related cases, with the latest incident being on Friday.

He said Mr Obure has another case pending at the Parklands Police Station after he allegedly assaulted and threatened to shoot Alex Lwin on November 2 last year at a club on Ojijo Road in Parklands.

In a press statement on Wednesday, the National Gun Owners Association of Kenya called upon the Interior minister and the Inspector-General of Police to take stern action against any civilian who is found to have misused his or her firearm.

"We fully support thorough and regular vetting of all firearm owners to ensure that anyone entrusted with the responsibility to own a firearm is actually worthy and deserving of such a responsibility," the statement read.