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Court halts Wanjigi firearms case trial

The High Court yesterday temporarily suspended the criminal proceedings before a magistrate’s court in Nyeri against businessman Jimi Wanjigi in connection with possession of a firearm. Justice George Odunga halted the proceedings or any other matter arising from the matter in Nyeri or before any subordinate court.

The reprieve came hours after the Nyeri chief magistrate Wendy Kagendo ordered Wanjigi to appear before her on Monday next week to answer 10 charges of being in possession of 11 illegal firearms.

She had ruled that the case filed against Wanjigi was properly filed before the court despite stiff opposition by the businessman’s lawyer Mugambi Kiongora. Wanjigi moved to court through lawyers John Khaminwa, James Orengo and Nelson Havi challenging the summons issued to him to appear before a Nyeri court to plead to charges of illegal possession of firearms.

He wanted the court to stop the police from commencing or proceeding with any criminal proceedings instituted against him. However, State Counsel Wesly Koriri defended the move to charge Wanjigi saying the charges are proper and had all stamps of the court hence the need for the court to issue an arrest warrant. Odunga ruled that the order amounts to abuse of court process.

“The issues raised in my view constitute serious constitutional and legal issues. I, therefore, issue a stay in criminal proceeding against the applicant before a criminal magistrate court in Nyeri,” he ruled. He directed that the motion be served within seven days and set the hearing for the case on April.

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