Embakasi East Member of Parliament (MP) Babu Owino will spend a third consecutive night in police custody after he was arrested for assault charges, shortly after being released on bail in subversion case on Wednesday.
Owino will be detained at the Pangani Police Station, and is expected to be arraigned on Thursday, September 28.
Drama marked Owino’s arrest outside the Milimani Law Courts, where his excited supporters, clinging on a rail fence around the establishment, were tear-gassed by police officers, when they forcibly demanded his release after learning about Owino’s unexpected arrest. The subdued supporters fled the scene.
Owino’s advocates and NASA-affiliated MPs had just finished processing his bail of Ksh500, 000; and his sureties had signed requisite documents, when a contingent of police officers, who had been deployed to man the establishment, pounced on him at the holding area, even before he could step out of the court precincts.
Chaos further rocked the scene, when Babu Owino’s lawyers, led by Siaya Senator James Orengo, attempted to snatch the ex-SONU leader from the police officers, but their efforts bore no fruits as they were overpowered.
Addressing the media, Mbita MP Millie Odhiambo and her Rarieda counterpart, Otiende Amollo, condemned the re-arrest of Babu Owino, saying “Government is bent on frustrating a section of Kenyans not inclined toward the ruling coalition, Jubilee.”
The two MPs further accused police officers of stealing electronic gadgets, including mobile phones from them during the commotion.
Though it remains unclear who Owino assaulted when he was Students Organisation of Nairobi University (SONU) Chairman between 2015 and 2016, speculations are rife that a case involving a confrontation between him and 2016 then-SONU chair hopeful, Mike Jacobs, was revived from the court archives.
Police are yet to clarify who is the complainant in the assault case.
Owino was in May, 2016 charged before Kibera Principal Magistrate Tito Gesora with causing Mike Jacobs grievous harm. Owino, a then-Third Year Bachelor of Law student at University of Nairobi (UoN), denied assaulting Jacobs in Nairobi’s Kileleshwa area in March, 2016.
He was, however, caught on camera allegedly committing the offence.
In the video, Babu and accomplices appeared to be shoving and slapping Jacobs at a petrol station. It was not clear if Jacobs reported the incident to the police.
The University of Nairobi student elections turned chaotic after Owino was announced the winner with Jacob’s camp calling for a nullification of the polls.
Subsequent violent protests forced the university senate to close the university and 137 students suspended for participating in the demonstrations.
The controversial MP had just been released on a Ksh500, 000 bail and two sureties of Ksh1 million each Wednesday, September 27, when he was re-arrested.
In his ruling, Nairobi Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi said that he found no compelling reasons from the prosecution to detain him.
The court, however, ordered him be released on condition that the two sureties are of equal standings in society with the accused.
Owino’s team of lawyers, led by Siaya Senator James Orengo, had asked the court to grant him bail, but the prosecution opposed the application, arguing that Owino was a flight risk as he has no known fixed abode.
Babu Owino is facing charges of subversion and offensive conduct, as well as an alternative charge of incitement to violence.
The first time legislator had allegedly made vile remarks against the presidency during a NASA rally in Dagoretti, Nairobi on Sunday, September 24.
The MP denied the charges after spending two nights in police custody.
The case will be mentioned on Wednesday, October 4, 2017.