Court Frees ODM Activist Jimi Wanjigi Unconditionally

Court Frees ODM Activist Jimi Wanjigi Unconditionally

The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) activist and businessman Jimi Wanjigi has been freed unconditionally by a Nairobi court.

Milimani Senior Principal Magistrate Bernard Ochoi ruled that the proceedings against Wanjigi and his wife Irene Nzisa cannot proceed until further directions are given by the High Court.

“I lift the warrant of arrest against Wanjigi and order that he be set free and released from custody immediately,” Ochoi ruled while releasing Wanjigi on Wednesday, January 19th, 2022.

Wanjigi had been arrested on Tuesday evening after a 20-hour siege by DCI detectives at his offices on General Mathenge Road and detained at Kamukunji Police Station ahead of his arraignment in court yesterday. This is after the detectives obtained a warrant for his arrest.

The court order that Wanjigi, who has declared his intention to seek the presidency in the August election, be released after the Director of Public Prosecutions through Everlyn Onunga verified that the conservatory order issued by Justice Anthony Mrima was genuine.

“We have perused the High Court file where the orders were granted and we are satisfied that the orders of stay produced before this court are genuine. We will abide by the orders of the High Court,” Onunga said. Ochoi stated in light of the order, the lower court could not continue with the proceedings until further directions from the High Court.

“In light of this submissions, it is noted that the High Court issued conservatory orders barring the arrest and prosecution of Wanjigi and his wife Irene Nzisa. Therefore, the criminal proceedings against him cannot proceed until further directions are issued by the High Court,” he ordered.

Magistrate also suspended summons issued against Nzisa. Court, however, confirmed that the summons will remain in force against six other suspects.
They include Himanshu Dodhia alias Velji Premchard, Kaneez Noorani, Mohammed Hussein, Mohammed Hussanali, Kairu Augustine and John Njenga.

They are expected to appear in court on Monday next week for plea taking as there is no stay order suspending their prosecution. They will be charged with several counts of forgery and fraud.

The case against Wanjigi and Nzisa will be mentioned on March 18 to update the court on the High Court matter.

Earlier, Wanjigi’s lawyers had opposed his arraignment and prosecution, saying it was in violation of orders issued by the High Court.
Wanjigi, who was represented by five lawyers led by Willis Otieno and Nicholas Nyamai, told the court that the purported charge sheet against his client was registered on Tuesday and no summons had been issued to any police station on the same.

“It is irregular for the State to apply for a warrant without summons,” Otieno argued. They informed the court that they personally served the Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai and the Investigating Officer Patrick Maloba at the DCI office at 3:30pm on January 18, 2022.

“The high drama exhibited by police even when they had been served with the orders not to arrest Wanjigi is appalling and should be condemned with the strongest terms possible,” said Otieno.

He said the DCI’s move to arrest, arraign and charge Wanjigi amounted to abuse of office. He asked the DPP to appear before High Court on February 9 if they have any representation they wish to make before court. Otieno further told the court that the breaking into Wanjigi’s office had occasioned damages amounting to Sh10 million. They accused DCI boss George Kinoti of harbouring a personal vendetta against Wanjigi.

“DCI seems to have a personal vendetta against my client because of the High Court case where he was committed to civil jail,” he said, adding that the arrest was intended to embarrass Wanjigi.

Addressing the press after his release, Wanjigi recounted his experience in police cells.

“As you are aware I was a State guest at Kamukunji for the first time in my life. I want to say that those who have doubt that l was treated very well. I got a few hours of sleep save for the few times they came checking up on me whether I am well or not. I want to thank them for their cordial hospitality,” he stated.

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