Ex-police officer and Nock official, Soi, not new to controversy

Friday, September 17th, 2021 11:00 |
Stephen Kiptanui Soi,

Before he was dismissed from the police service together with 56 other senior officers in 2004, not so much was known about Stephen Kiptanui Soi, then an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP).

The once powerful soft- spoken General Service Unit (GSU) officer, who was once described by the National Police Service Commission (NPSC) as an officer steeped in impunity, has, however, not known peace in the last 17 years.

Though he has held some prestigious positions, he has spent several years on the corridors of justice.

Soi and his colleagues went to court to challenge their dismissal and nine years later, they were rein- stated.

“After the matter was decided in court, the commission in compliance with the court order reinstated 34 officers in 2013,” the NPSC said then.

In February 2014, the Commission reinstated 34 officers , including Soi who was then deployed to the GSU headquarters.

The then NPSC chairman Johnstone Kavuludi direct- ed that all officers had to be vetted and on May 8, 2015, Soi was vetted. However, on August 7, the NPSC decided to remove him from the service.

“To see him back to service, the Commission conducted a vetting exercise on him as required by its regulations. However, after the vetting, the Commission found him unsuitable on grounds that he was insincere,” the commission said.

The NPSC said they also noted during the vetting that Soi was temperamental and inconsistent in character.

Soi, the commission revealed, had earlier assaulted a Police Constable.

“During his vetting, the officer tended to explain his attributing even though his conduct had been unbecoming. His acquiescence to tribalism would be out of keeping with the new dispensation of police reforms. The officer’s gross professional misconduct clearly depicts him as a violator of human rights,” the NPSC said in a statement.

After removal, Soi again moved to court to compel the NPSC to review its decision to remove him. The plea was granted and on June 22, 2016, Justice George Odunga ordered the re-vetting, which was scheduled for July 2016.

Soi, however, through his lawyers, informed the NPSC that he was away in Brazil with the Kenya athletics team until August 2016. The vetting was never done as the NPSC maintained that by the time he was back, he would have attained the mandatory retirement age.

Soi was also accused of assaulting and injuring a GSU Constable. An inquiry file was opened but was subsequently closed with- out action taken against him.

Disowned In disowning him following the Rio scandal, the National Police Service in Au- gust 2016 said his ‘conduct portrayed an officer steeped in impunity’ with Kavuludi later saying whatever they had about Soi was “true, ac- curate and authentic”.

On July 21 last year, the anti-corruption court ses- sion was momentarily stopped after Soi broke down and wept. The Judge allowed his wife to console him.

That day, Soi pleaded innocence saying he was not the accounting officer for the Kenya’s delegation to Rio.

“My signature of authori- sation for payment is not in the payment vouchers. At the time, the payments were made, I was in Rio,” he said.

On Wednesday, Milimani Anti-Corruption Court Chief Magistrate Elizabeth Juma found Soi guilty of three counts of abuse of office and two counts of willful failure to comply with law relating to management of public funds.

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