9 Kisumu County Askaris Freed on a 50k Cash Bail after pleading not guilty
Nine Kisumu County Askaris caught on camera dragging a female hawker on the tarmac have pleaded not guilty for causing grievous badly harm to her.
The nine County askaris arraigned in court were Victor Odiyo Ochieng, Kevin Omondi, George Nyonje, Faith Akoth, Paul Ochieng, Martin Olwa, Japheth Odero, Vincent Okeyo, and Josephat Rowa.
The askaris were arraigned before Kisumu Law Courts Chief Magistrate Martha Agutu on Friday, March 26th after spending a night at the police custody.
The nine were recorded on a video dragging a hawker named Beatrice Atieno from a speeding white pickup within the township of Kisumu.
Beatrice was represented by lawyers Onsongo, Jackeline Ingutia, and Joshua Nyamori from the Federations of Women Lawyers-Kisumu chapter, Law society of Kenya, and Kenya Human Rights Commission.
According to the lawyers, their client had received threats after the incident was highlighted.
On the other side, the defense advocate Gerald Kadede urged the court to be a bit lenient on the county askaris saying the suspects were the sole breadwinners t their families.
“I, therefore, pray that you release them on reasonable bond terms and ask that we be supplied with the copies of the charge sheet and witnesses’ statement,” said Kadede.
The magistrate freed the suspect on sh. 50,000 cash bail or sh. 80000 Bond. The case will be mentioned on April 13 and heard on April 20th.
Kisumu Governor Anyang Nyong’o had already suspended the nine-county askaris to pave way for more investigation.
However, the county boss was in Nairobi on official duty.
"While away in Nairobi on official Council of Governors’ meetings, I have been saddened and shocked by a regrettable incident in Kisumu, following the arrest and mishandling of a lady trader by the city's enforcement officers on Wednesday, March 24, morning," Nyong'o said.