5 police to be charged with death of Mombasa tout

5 police to be charged with death of Mombasa tout

BY JOAN WANJIKU,NAIROBI,2ND AUG,2021-,Five police officers will be arraigned in court over the death of a Mombasa tout while in police custody in 2018.

Caleb Espino died while being detained at Changamwe police station.

Espino had been arrested alongside two others at the White Castle bar during an illicit drinking swoop by officers under the supervision of the OCS.

He later died that night after police allegedly pounced on him with wooden clubs, punched and kicked him.

Espino’s mother, Fanis Owendi, and human right group Muhuri moved to court seeking orders to institute private proceedings against then OCS Yusuf Ibrahim.

They sued Ibrahim, the National Police Service, DPP and Ipoa, accusing them of failing to take action against the OCS.

However, Ipoa, in its response to the suit dated July 28, said the matter was in DPP’s hands after having recommended prosecution of the five officers.

Those recommended for prosecution are police constables Khalifa Abdullahi, James Muli, Joseph Sirawa, Edward Kongo and Nelson Nkanae.

Ipoa, through its official Emmanuel Langat, produced corresponding communication from the DPP, stating its intention to charge the police officers.

The letter further indicated that the DPP also intended to protect the deceased’s family by charging the officers at a Nairobi court.

Langat said the DPP directives came after Ipoa forwarded its file on findings and recommendations on investigations carried out against officers over their alleged involvement in the death of Espino.

He said investigations revealed sufficient evidence linking the officers to the tout’s death, a fact supported by the DPP.

Langat denied claims by the deceased’s mother and Muhuri that Ipoa failed to act on the complaints as an authority mandated to investigate police officers.

He said the authority was not in any way engaged in a silent cover up with the police and the allegations were untrue as they lacked any factual foundation.

He said Ipoa launched investigations into the incident immediately after receiving the notification from the OCS.

The official further said the application had been rendered useless since the DPP had already directed for prosecution of the officers.

With the looming charges against the officers, the ball now lies with the DPP on when the officers should have a date with the court.

An autopsy revealed Espino died of multiple injuries to the head, upper cervical spine of the neck and chest.

There was a fracture due to blunt force trauma, bleeding within the brain, and injury on the upper spinal cord.

Pathologists established bleeding on both sides of the lungs and the back. A rib on Espino’s left chest had a fracture. There was also a tear within one of his lungs.

Witnesses disclosed that Espino, while at the cell, demanded to know grounds for his arrest.

Police are said to have responded to him rudely, without providing specifics.

Espino reportedly shook the cell’s grill in return, infuriating an officer who was on the reporting desk who then pounced on him.

 

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