“I Cannot Fathom It” Noordin Haji Laments Over The Release Of Embakasi MP Babu Owino

Milimani Court Chief Magistrate Francis Andanyi is a man mentioned often on Kenya’s airwaves owing to his high profile cases from fraud, corruption, murder attempts, and robbery. Recently, Andanyi has been in the middle of a case born out of malice and a sensational one at that.

In the wee hours of January 17, an altercation between Embakasi East Member of Parliament Paul Ongili alias Babu Owino and B club’s DJ Felix Orinda saw the 25year Old shot to unconsciousness and a bullet lodged in his neck. The incident that happened so fast was caught on CCTV and revelers turned into eyewitnesses during the 4 am ordeal.

Babu Owino is known for his controversies and rogue actions since his days as a student leader at the University of Nairobi. Even though the incident perplexed many, his capability to draw a gun and fire at the DJ was not surprising. Kenyan authorities were immediately involved and the case has since made progress even though the victim is still in critical condition at the Nairobi hospital.

Chief Magistrate Andanyi

Upon commencement of investigations, Babu Owino was arrested by the police and taken to jail where he would spend nights awaiting the hearing. The Director of Criminal Investigations, George Kinoti sent out a statement saying the MP would be charged with attempted murder. This is however contrary to the recent ruling by Millimani high court’s Chief Magistrate Francis Andanyi who released Paul Ongili on a Ksh10 million cash.

In his ruling, Magistrate Andanyi said the money would be used to settle the medical bills of the victim until he fully recovers. Andanyi went ahead to say that the bail will be paid in four installments for the next 3 months.  The release of Babu, according to the court is to ensure that he fully take care of the hospital bills, which he wouldn’t if he is detained. According to Andanyi, the money will be wired directly from court to the medical facilities and any unutilized funds will remain in the court’s custody.

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This ruling has however caused online debates with Kenyans pointing a finger at the magistrate who most people allege gave the ruling after receiving bribe from the Member of Parliament. With or without considering what the legality of the ruling, the decision seems too easy on the rogue MP, the absurdity of such a ruling is evident considering Babu Owino’s police records.

To reinforce this claim, the Director of Public Prosecutions has said that such bail terms are unheard of and the terms need to be revised. Nordin Haji in a statement said, “We are going for a revision, we have agreed as DPP, and we have also written to the JSC to complain, because of that ruling… I mean, I cannot fathom it,”

Haji argues that bail goes directly to the Ex-chequer, an account into which tax funds and other public funds are deposited and it would be impossible to access the money to pay for DJ evolve’s hospital bills. The DPP suggesting that the case has alternative ways to go about it says a complaint in the form of a letter has been lodged to the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) and is awaiting a response.

Gathoni Kuria

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