Embakasi East Member of Parliament Babu Owino has been set free on a bond of KSh500,000 and two sureties of Ksh1 million each after a magistrate overruled a request to deny him bail.
But this was after the MP, not a visitor atall to the rough-patch court grind, had sent two nights in coolers for allegedly insulting President Uhuru Kenyatta in words Justicenow.co.ke shudders from reprinting in this post as, of course, an issue of legal sobriety and obvious extended respect to the Jubilee national leader who faces off in a fresh elections with Nasa coalition principal, Raila Odinga, after the Supreme Court nullified his victory!
The two sureties, Nairobi Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi said, must be people of equal standing in society with Owino.
Andayi made the ruling after he found that the prosecution did not present compelling reasons to keep him in police custody.
Owino was charged on Tuesday with the offence of subversion, causing disaffection against the presidency and incitement.
The prosecution had mounted a relentless fight to have the youthful, Embakasi East MP fixed.
Top prosecutors in town led by Nicholas Mutuku, Catherine Mwaniki, Aloys Kemo and Duncan Ondimu objected to his release on bond and had pegged argument that the he faced “very serious” charges.
Prosecutor Nicholas Mutuku told the court that in the first count Paul Ongili alias Babu Owino attracts a maximum sentence of seven years whereas the alternative count attracts a maximum of five years…an argument the mainstream media hyped and ran with to town.
Mutuku added that the second count against Babu attracts a sentence of two years.
The prosecution also said linked the media hyped demonstrations in Kiambu and Githurai to Babu Owino’s utterances and attempted to excite a nerve that “if he is released on bond, the demos could continue…” as if law enforcement would stand back and watch!
Prosecutor Catherine Mwaniki also adds that Babu may be at flight risk because he has no permanent fixed place of aboard as he resides in several places. Who doesn’t?
Babu was charged with subversion, incitement to violence and offensive conduct conducive to breach of peace.
The MP is alleged to have committed the offence on September 24 2017 at Stage 46, Kawangware, Dagoretti, Nairobi County.
Not a crime
He denied the charges before Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi.
Babu was represented by four lawyers including senior counsel James Orengo, Otiende Amolo, Edwin Sifuna, Ochieng Oginga, who scoffed at the prosecution.
Senior counsel James Orengo asked the court to release his client on bond saying that the charge sheet was defective and having several places of residence is not a crime.