Embakasi East MP Babu Owino charged in court

Embakasi East MP Babu Owino in court on Tuesday 26th September 2017. PHOTO: COURTESY.

Nairobi, KENYA: Embakasi East Member of Parliament Paul Ongili famously known as Babu Owino,has been charged with two accounts of subversion and uttering abusive words against president Uhuru Kenyatta.

Babu was taken to Milimani court on Tuesday to answer to the allegations raised against him on utterances of words that were calculated to excite disaffection against the presidency.

Prosecutor Nicholas Mutuku said, Babu has four previous charges of similar nature and urged the court to continue holding the accused in police custody;arguing they are still carrying investigation on the matter.

Mr Mutuku added that the gravity of the offence Mr Owino faces is a compelling reason. His colleague, Catherine Mwaniki, told the Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi that Babu is an influential person and might interfere with witnesses.

Ms Mwaniki said the accused has no fixed home and tracing him might be difficult and so urged the court to balance between Babu’s rights and public interest.

Ms Mwaniki pointed out that there was public protest following Babu’s utterances and his release on bail might lead to more protests. She said the rights of an accused person does not supersede public interest.

Senior Counsel james Orengo who represented Babu, argued that the court should look at the evidence before him and not what the prosecution imagines.

Orengo noted that the charges are defective and presidency is not a public officer and amorphous, and can run into scores of people.

He added that the prosecution failed to present documents that support the application.

The MP was arrested by police officers from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations on Monday, a day after he made derogatory remarks allegedly targeting Mr Kenyatta during an opposition rally in Kawangware, Nairobi.