DCI compelled by High Court to return Rashid Echesa firearm

A High Court in Kakamega has ordered the DCI to return a firearm, a firearm certificate book and a magazine loaded with ammunition to former Sports and Heritage CS, Rashid Echesa.

In the judgement, Justice Jesse Njagi characterized the actions by the state to confiscate the Beretta pistol belonging to Mr Echesa as unlawful, unreasonable and an abuse of power.

Justice Njagi also declared that the DCI through their conduct of arbitrarily arresting and incarcerating Mr. Echesa for a period of two days without a justifiable cause was an abuse to his fundamental right to freedom and security as enshrined in Article 29 the Constitution.

The former cabinet secretary had been detained on suspicion that he had been involved in killings that occurred in Matungu, Kakamega between March and May this year where 20 people or thereabouts had been butchered by a militia .

Echesa’s pistol was confiscated on May 17 shortly after he was arrested after attending a political function in Ikolomani consituency where DP Ruto was in attendance.

On May 19, Echesa was acquitted without charges after the office of the DPP said there was insufficient evidence to continue holding him in custody.

Aggrieved by this arrest, Mr. Echesa had filed a constitutional petition at the Kakamega High Court in which he argued that his rights had been violated by the office of the DPP, the AG and the Inspector General of the Police.

Through his lawyer, James Namatasi, Mr. Echesa said that his arrest was motivated by political forces stating that he had been a victim of executive harassment ever since he was fired from the cabinet .

A prosecution witness Corporal Erick Ogutu, who was also the Investigating Officer, argued that the former CS had been arrested to protect a police source that had tipped the force that Mr. Echesa had been involved in the mass killings.

However, Justice Njagi dismissed the statement saying that it would be sad for the country if the police went arresting innocent civilians in order to protect their sources of information.

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