Twelve police officers implicated in the murder of baby Samantha Pendo will be charged with murder.
The 12 officers who were implicated in an inquest formed to investigate the death of baby Pendo who was shot dead during the disputed 2017 elections in Nyalenda slums, Kisumu County.
Ten of the officers who appeared before justice Daniel Ogembo could not take plea as their defense counsel raised objection saying they have filed a constitutional petition challenging the offence brought against their clients.
The court was told that among the issues they have raised touched on the constitutionality and the jurisdiction of the court to hear the matter.
“The matter before has jurisdiction question and the conditional eligibility of this court to hear the matter. We must interrogate to find amicable solution on the matter before you,” said one the defense lawyers.
They further submitted that the case brought under the international Crimes Act requires a special court to be appointed or a tribunal that can hear and determine the case.
The judge subsequently issued an order that the plea be suspended for a period of seven days to allow them litigate the petition pending before the high court.
He further directed each of the supects to sign a personal bond of Ksh. 200,000.
“The suspects be released on personal bail of Ksh 200,000 and to appear on 21st September for plea taking,” Justice Ogembo directed.
The suspects included former Nyanza Region Police commander Titus Yoma and co-suspects Titus Mutune, John Masha Benjamin Koima, Benjamin Lorema, Volker Edambo, Cyprine Robi, Josphat Sensira and James Rono.
The court also issued a summon against Linah Koskey, Mohamed Ali and Mohammed Baa who did not turn up today to appear on 21st November 2022 for plea taking.
Speaking after the ruling, Edward Mbanya the lawyer representing Baby Samantha Pendo family said there is looming injustice to the families of the victims if the application to defer plea taking by the suspects or the anticipatory bail is granted to the defense.
“We are aware there is scheme to delay the plea taking, the defense team have also applied for anticipatory bail, but let us hope on 21st of November the all the suspects will be presented to take the plea,” said Mr. Mbanya.
By Rodgers Oduor