There was drama outside the Meru High Court on Friday after police re-arrested three people accused of killing a chief in Marsabit, moments after their release.
Lady Justice Ong’injo had just granted a request by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to terminate the case against Mr Doyo Galgalo, Mr Galma Galgalo and Ms Bokaya Dida Boru when the officers pounced.
However, the three hurriedly entered into a waiting vehicle and locked themselves inside. The police ordered all gates locked as armed officers positioned themselves in strategic points to ensure the three did not leave.
Those who were caught up in the confusion were barred from leaving the court premises as the gates remained sealed.
After the standoff that lasted over an hour, defence lawyer Kiget Kiprotich allowed his clients to proceed to Meru Police Station for interrogation.
However, on arrival at the station, the suspects were bundled into a waiting car and driven to Nairobi.
Mr Kiget said the police had acted in contempt of the court since Lady Justice Ong’injo had ruled that police must first issue summons if they intended to re-arrest the three.
“They (suspects) have been barbarically arrested and driven to Nairobi. The DCI officers say they are being waited for by a judge in Nairobi but I think this is a ploy to hold them until Monday. We had a favourable ruling that our clients should be free,” he said.
A fourth suspect, Mr Somo Huqa, who is yet to take plea in connection to the murder of Dirib Kombo chief Bida Gogana, was re-arrested immediately after the State dropped his case on Thursday.
The judge agreed with the defence that the accused had been in custody since December 24, 2018. The prosecution was given seven days to complete investigations before the suspects were arraigned in court on January 2, 2019.
Lady Justice Ong’injo, however ruled that the DPP was free to enter nolle prosequi but had to seek the court’s permission. Mr Kiget said they would move to court to have the suspects released on bond.
In the nolle prosequi application, Senior Principal Prosecution Counsel Gitonga Muriuki said detectives probing the matter were pursuing new evidence and thus wanted the matter dropped.
Mr Kiget had opposed the application, saying the request did not explain the reason the DPP wanted the case terminated.