University of Nairobi students’ leader Babu Owino charged with assaulting rival


University of Nairobi students' leader Babu Owino charged with assaulting rival

University of Nairobi chair Babu Owino has been charged with assaulting his rival in last month’s students’ elections Mike Jacobs.

It is alleged that on March 20th, 2016 at Shell Petrol Station in Kileleshwa, together with others not before the court, Babu Owino unlawfully caused grievous harm to Mike Jacob Odhiambo.

Appearing before Principal Magistrate Tito Gesora, the SONU chair, through his four lawyers led by Makueni MP Dan Maanzo, told the court that the charge is politically instigated by his rivals saying he was the one who was assaulted by Mike Jacobs and even reported the issue first, though no action was taken.

He denied the charges levelled against him and was released on a cash bail of Ksh 100,000 or alternative bond of Ksh 200,000 bond.

The case will be mentioned on May 20th, 2016.

Owino was arrested Wednesday evening and spent the night at the Kilimani Police Station.

Jacobs is among 33 University of Nairobi students who were expelled by the school’s management for allegedly participating in riots that led to the destruction of school property and leaving several students injured.

The protests resulted from contested elections which were won by Babu Owino, granting him his fourth term as the University’s student leader.

The University’s Senate has since proposed drastic measures aimed at reforming the student’s union following recommendations by a special committee appointed on April 27th, 2016.

Among the proposed reviews include putting in place a term limit for executive positions to open up the opportunity to many other students, reduce the stakes involved or benefits to office bearers so as to reduce tension between the winning and losing candidates.

Babu Owino is not new to controversy having been on the receiving end after a clip emerged of him dishing out cash to students ahead of the students’ elections last month.

In an interview with Citizen TV, Babu refuted the claims saying he was just “helping out” his colleagues.

The SONU chair has also moved to dispel claims that he acquired his wealth through illegal dealings saying he owns several legally registered companies in the country and runs various other businesses.

“I am not very wealthy and the wealth I have comes from God. I own a number of companies including a supplies company, a property and a construction company. I am also a farmer,” he stated.

The student leader further put NACADA chair John Mututho to task over his allegations that he deals in drugs challenging him to substantiate his claims in court.

On his long tenure as student leader, Babu Owino has claimed that he will retire from university politics at the end of his current term and shift his focus to the national politics with keen interest on clinching the Embakasi East parliamentary seat.

@benjaminwafula

Additional reporting by Agnes Oloo

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