MP Ng’eno to spend two nights in custody ahead of bail hearing

Wednesday, September 9th, 2020 00:00 |
Mau forest water. Photo/Courtesy

Emurua Dikirr MP Johanna Ng’eno will spend more nights in custody pending a ruling on his request to be released on bail following his arraignment at the Nakuru Law Court. 

Chief Magistrate Elizabeth Usui deferred the bond application to tomorrow after both the prosecution and defence sides presented their submissions over the matter. 

The MP is to be remanded at the Nakuru GK Prison after he was charged with hate speech and offensive conduct. 

Appearing via Zoom, Ng’eno is accused of stirring up ethnic hatred when he attended a thanksgiving ceremony in the area. 

Particulars in the charge sheet stated that on September 6, at Junction, Olgos-Sofia village in Transmara West within Narok County used abusive words causing ethnic tension among communities living in the region. 

He is said to have uttered; ‘Na hio msitu ya Mau, nitazidi kusema ninety-five percent iko kwa shamba yetu, hio yenye iko Narok ni only five per cent na all the blocks iko Mau is in our land’. I will say time and again that Mau forest is in our land,”  

Incited locals

According to police, Ng’eno incited the locals by claiming that the Mau eviction by the government was meant to flash out a certain community from the Mau Complex by alleging that they had encroached. 

He faced a second count of offensive conduct, where it is alleged that on the same day, the MP at the home of the late Joseph Waitakei at a public gathering used abusive language. 

He denied the charges and through his lawyer Kimutai Bosek, he urged the court to be released on reasonable bond terms saying he has a constitutional right. While noting the status of his client as an MP, Bosek said his client is not a flight risk pleading to have him released. 

Bosek further argued that the prosecution had not provided any compelling reason to have his client detained for more time. 

“His place of abode is well known and being a MP, he cannot disappear,” said Bosek. 

However, the prosecution side led by state counsel Daniel Karuri opposed his release on bond on grounds that the current situation at Emurua Dikirr is volatile. 

According to Karuri, the offence by the MP is serious adding that being a senior politician in the area, he is bound to interfere with witnesses saying crucial witnesses should be allowed to testify before a bond can be discussed. 

“I want to urge the court to take Judicial Review on several instances of hate speech and ethnic contempt by people in the republic and the effects of the utterances that led to violence in the Mau,” Bosek said.

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