A surge of University of Nairobi (UoN) students on Thursday, September 28 engaged anti-terror police in running battles, as they protested the re-arrest of the varsity’s former students’ leader Paul Ongili alias Babu Owino, who faced a fresh assault charge on Thursday.
The Embakasi East MP, Babu Owino, had been released on a Ksh500, 000 bond in a subversion case Wednesday, but re-arrested shortly thereafter. He spent Wednesday night at Pangani Police Station, where he claims he was subjected to torture, and accuses police officers of sending street children to harass him.
Police were, on Thursday morning, forced to hurl teargas at UoN students, who had placed boulders on pathways leading to students’ hostels within the university.
The charged students were chanting pro-Owino slogans, when police set upon them with teargas canisters and water cannons.
The students ran to different destinations, as police continued confining them within the varsity compound.
The learners were unable to take to the major streets around the university’s main campus, given there was a heavy presence of anti-terror police deployed at strategic exit points at the institution.
As at 1:10pm Thursday, relative calm had restored.
Tension was high at the Technical University of Kenya in Nairobi, where it is reported that students were planning a protest to demand for the release of Owino.
Meanwhile, Owino was charged at the Kibera Law Court Thursday morning with inflicting grievous harm on a voter, Joshua Otieno Obiende, at Soweto Social Hall in Embakasi East on August 8, 2017.
The court said it will rule on Owino’s bail application at 4pm Thursday after the legislator pleaded not guilty to injuring Obiende on August 8.
(Additional reporting by Diana Ongoro)