UPDATE: The five officers have today, September 20, 2021 pleaded not guilty at the High Court in Nairobi. The Court ordered they be held in prison pending hearing of their case scheduled for December 6 and 7, 2021.
Five police officers are set to be charged with murder at the High Court in Nairobi tomorrow, September 8, 2021, following the death of Mr. Caleb Ospino Otieno at the Changamwe Police Station, Mombasa.
He died hours after he was arrested on suspicion of being in possession of illegal alcohol – Changáa at Mikindani on September 18, 2018.
Four of the officers were arrested separately in Mombasa and Nairobi, and placed in lawful custody while the other is still at large but has been ordered to surrender.
Independent Policing Oversight Authority conducted an investigation into death after the Officer Commanding the Station notified the Authority regarding the demise.
Police officers are bound by IPOA Act to write to the Authority notifying it of such deaths and serious injuries that occur within their areas of jurisdiction.
The officers are Khalif Abdulahi Sigat, James Muli Koti, Joseph Odhiambo Sirawa, Edward Kongo Onchonga and Nelson Nkanae.
The officers are scheduled to undergo mental assessment ahead of the arraignment to determine if they are fit to stand trial in court.
Among others, the IPOA investigation relied on a postmortem examination that established that Mr. Otieno died of multiple injuries inflicted with blunt force.
Investigators also recorded statements from witnesses, including police officers who were on duty on the fateful day, other detainees as well as people who saw Mr. Otieno at the point of arrest.
Initially Mr. Otieno was booked at the station as “unknown,” after he was arrested at around 1800 Hrs.
At around 2100 Hrs the same day, he was removed from the cells and later transferred to the Coast General Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
The Office of Director of Public Prosecution independently reviewed the IPOA investigation file and acceded to the reccomendations.
IPOA Chairperson Mrs. Anne Maori said: “IPOA remains committed to being independent, impartial and fair.”