Lawyer Assa Nyakundi yet to take plea in son’s shooting case, 7 months later


Lawyer Issa Nyakundi
File image of Lawyer Assa Nyakundi in court. PHOTO| COURTESY

Lawyer Assa Nyakundi who was arrested and arraigned over the fatal shooting of his son Joseph Nyakundi is yet to take plea seven months after the incident that occured on March 17 this year in Muthaiga, Nairobi.

Nyakundi was due to take plea on Tuesday, October 16 before Justice Jessie Lesit who directed the case to be taken back to Justice Daniel Ogembo.

Justice Lesit who was promoted to a court of appeal judge said she was not able to handle new matters.

Lawyer Assa Nyakundi was to be charged with manslaughter in April.

At the time, Nyakundi appeared before Senior Principal Magistrate Bosibori Nyang’ena six weeks after he allegedly committed the offence and was admitted at a Nairobi Hospital after suffering from high blood pressure.

He did not take plea, and was released on a cash bail of Ksh.300,000 and a surety of Ksh.1 million.

The case mention date was set for June 20, 2019.

On the 2nd of May, the court in Kiambu allowed the DPP to review manslaughter charges against Lawyer Nyakundi, a move opposed by his wife Lydia Nyakundi who claimed she was not involved in the process.

A day before mention date, Kiambu High Court judge Christine Meoli disqualified herself from hearing Lawyer Nyakundi’s case and referred it to the Milimani court.

On June 20, the prosecution asked the court to allow the accused to undergo a mental test at Mathari Hospital before taking plea but the defence lawyer opposed the application and argued that Lawyer Nyakundi was in control of his senses.

The case was moved to June 21 but did not carry on as Lawyer John Khaminwa representing Nyakundi had to travel to Mombasa to give a lecture. The case was postponed to July 9.

Come July 5th, Kiambu Magistrate Teresia Nyangena dismissed an application by the DPP seeking to have her recuse herself from hearing the case.

The case was later referred to Justice Luka Kimaru who refereed it to Justice Jessy Lesit who on July 9 referred it to Justice James Wakiaga. Justice Wakiaga set the date of hearing to be on July 18.

At the time, the applications in the cases included a decision to enter a nolle prosequi against the manslaughter charges challenging the constitutionality to have murder charges pressed against the lawyer.

The prosecution sought to have a three judge bench to hear the case.

On July 18, Justice Lesit heard the matter and issued an order that barred Senior Principal Magistrate Teresia Nyangena from hearing any proceedings in the manslaughter case.

The matter also came up on the 26th of July before Justice Lesit but Nyakundi did not take plea even as journalists were barred from covering the matter as the counsels wanted to speak to the judge in camera.

Five days later, Nyakundi filed a case at the high court seeking to stop Justice Lesit’s order that directed that he takes plea in relation to the killing of his son, a case that was later dismissed.

The lawyer failed to take plea on Tuesday, October 15 when he appeared before Justice Lesit who directed the case to be taken back to Justice Daniel Ogembo as she was not able to handle new matters.

Seven months after the incident the lawyer is yet to take plea.

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Story By Makori Ongechi
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