DP Ruto bodyguards to be charged in Sudi drama

Monday, September 14th, 2020 09:00 |
Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi’s lawyer and Uasin Gishu Woman Rep Gladys Boss Shollei at the Nakuru Central Police Station, yesterday. Photo/PD/RAPHAEL MUNGE

Three police officers suspected to have helped Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi evade arrest at the weekend are attached to Deputy President William Ruto, it has emerged.

The officers, including a Chief Inspector of Police, are expected to be charged in court today over their role in the failed attempt to arrest the outspoken MP.

The ugly incident led to the injury of a General Service Unit (GSU) officer and the shooting of a member of the public.

Police Headquarters said Constables Isaack Dida and Simon Siengo will be charged with obstructing police officers on duty while their commander, a Chief Inspector Ekiru, had by yesterday evening not been traced.

It is believed the chief inspector escaped, leaving behind his firearm which was later recovered by officers who conducted the raid at the MP’s home.

The Presidential Escort officers, who guard both the President and his deputy, had accompanied the Deputy President to his rural Sugoi home in Uasin Gishu county before they left for Sudi’s residence.

It was not clear yesterday whether Ruto was aware of their mission at Sudi’s residence.

Constable Dida was armed with a Jericho pistol loaded with 15 rounds of ammunition while Constable Siengo was armed with a Ceska pistol and 30 rounds of ammunition, according to police sources.

The controversial MP was yesterday finally arrested after two failed attempts and is expected to be grilled today before being presented in court to answer charges of hate speech.

Counterpart raided

On Friday night, a team of officers under the command of Uasin Gishu police commander and his Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) counterpart raided Sudi’s residence when a standoff ensued.

The officers were forced to gain entry into the compound by jumping over the fence but were repulsed by gunshots from inside the residence.

Constable John Muiruri of the GSU was cut on the right thumb by one Samuel Kibiwot. In the process, Kibiwot was shot on both the right and left shoulders.

Uasin Gishu police boss Johnston Ipara said Ekiru was suspected to have fled from the residence in the company of the MP.

Ruto’s bodyguards had driven into the residence in a Toyota Prado car in which  another firearm and 30 rounds of ammunition were recovered.

Following a further search, another Ceska pistol with 11 rounds of ammunition were recovered inside another vehicle, a Toyota Allion, which was parked within the compound.

At the parking lot, officers recovered two spent cartridges and a panga. The cartridges will be subjected to ballistic examination.

The officers also arrested five members of the public for interrogation. They were identified as Victor Kibitok, Stephen Chege, James Kemboi Kemei, Jonathan Maritim Kosgei and David Birich Kipyego.

After his arrest at Langas police station where he had presented himself yesterday, Sudi was airlifted to Nakuru in a National Police Service helicopter.

He was accompanied by his lawyer, Uasin Gishu County Woman Representative Gladys Shollei, Nandi Governor Stephen Sang, Soy legislator Caleb Kositany and Kimilili’s Didmus Barasa.

Shollei said the MP would be interrogated by the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) officials before being arraigned.

“Let me put the record straight; our client was not summoned by the police and he has not been in hiding as it is being reported in media circles.

He is here out of his own volition and to find out why police are looking for him,” said Shollei.

Sudi had been on the police radar since Friday night after he escaped an attempt to arrest him a few hours after he led a demonstration in Eldoret town where he was unapologetic over remarks he posted on social media attacking President Uhuru Kenyatta and his family.

Shollei yesterday said they were satisfied with the due process that had been taken while encouraging the MP’s supporters to remain calm since the law will take its course and that Sudi had no misgivings about facing a court process.

“All we wanted was the due process to be followed and we were comfortable with what had happened as he heads to Nairobi to face the NCIC.

There is no cause for alarm as we assure his constituents that their legislator is okay,” she added.

Station commander

While responding to questions why the police had allowed the legislator to hold a rally in town on Friday before swinging into action at night, police boss Ipara said they had exercised restraint to avoid inconveniencing businesses in town or even destruction of property.

“I want to appeal to our political leaders to remain civil in their utterances and warn them at the same time that police will not hesitate to arrest anyone who makes hate speech remarks.

Sudi had eluded us but he surrendered today because ultimately we would find him,” said Ipara.

Yesterday, Sudi arrived at the station at around 8am wearing a heavy red-hooded jacket and a black cap where he was later ushered in by the station commander.

“As a law-abiding citizen, I have presented myself at Langas Police Station early this morning even before the officers arrive.

It was unnecessary to be treated with a lot of drama by sending a contingent of police officers to my home. I was away the time police arrived at my place,” he said.

On Friday night, transport was paralysed on the Kapsabet-Eldoret road where locals used logs and stones to block the road.

Regarding the allegations facing him, Sudi has remained adamant on his refusal to apologise for remarks targeting President Kenyatta’s family saying, “Kenya does not belong to them”.

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