Standoff as DCI impounds goods released by court


Standoff as DCI impounds goods released by court
Truck carrying the goods released by court arrives at the DCI headquarters in Nairobi. PHOTO| COURTESY

In Summary

  • The consignment was released by the court on Tuesday on grounds that the goods were were perishable and holding them before the court decided on their level of safety would be unjust to the owner.
  • However, soon after the release, the goods were intercepted by detectives along the Nyahururu highway and transferred to the DCI headquarters in Nairobi.
  • The goods include 14,506 kilograms of sugar, 1,294 kilograms of rice and 36 kilograms of green grams, which according to the head of flying squad Musa Yego are unfit for human consumption.

Trouble is brewing between a Nyahururu-based magistrate and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations over a consignment of alleged contraband food products.

The consignment was released by the court on Tuesday on grounds that the goods were were perishable and holding them before the court decided on their level of safety would be unjust to the owner.

However, soon after the release, the goods were intercepted by detectives along the Nyahururu highway and transferred to the DCI headquarters in Nairobi.

The goods include 14,506 kilograms of sugar, 1,294 kilograms of rice and 36 kilograms of green grams, which according to the head of flying squad Musa Yego are unfit for human consumption.

“The items have been released by court yes, but that is where we come in to intercept it because we will not allow the public to take anything unfit for human consumption,” said the flying squad boss.

However, according to Chege Gakuhi, the lawyer representing Macharia Kigo — the owner of the goods —  the recent seizure comes as a surprise since the court ordered the goods be released.

The release orders were issued after police allegedly tampered with exhibits of the goods when the case began in June 2018 before Nyahururu Court Magistrate Ocharo Momanyi.

The exhibits, Chege says, were never brought to court, forcing Magistrate Momanyi to impose a fine of Ksh.100,000 or five days in jail for each of the officers as punishment for their misconduct.

Despite the prosecution filing for an application to have Momanyi removed from the case as well as have the release orders suspended, High Court Jugde Roselyn Wendo dismissed the application.

Questions however arise over the safety of the food products given that the government chemist and the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) have not issued any alarming substance in the goods.

As the court continues to hear the case and decide on whether or not the food products are fit for human consumption, it appears to be a cat and mouse game between the DCI  and the Nyahururu-based magistrate.

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