Nahashon Mutua, the Ex Ruaraka OCS, who brutally murdered an inmate five years ago has been sentenced to death.
Justice Stella Mutuku handed the former senior officer the severe sentence on Thursday, ruling that his actions – torturing Martin Koome to death on the night of December 19,
Koome was viciously assaulted – beaten to near unconscious with a metal rod before he was immersed in a tank full of water. He died the following morning at Kenyatta National Hospital.
“After considering the painful death the deceased was subjected to, to the inhuman treatment he received even after he was fatally wounded, it is my considered view that the befitting sentence, in this case, is death,” ruled Justice Mutuku.
After he assaulted Koome, the OCS attempted to cover up his actions.
Mutua later conspired with other inmates and fabricated a police report suggesting that Koome died after an alleged fight in the cells.
The ex-policeman went further and charged Koome cellmate Kelvin Odhiambo with the murder.
Odhiambo was later exonerated following investigations by the Independent Policing Oversight Authority(IPOA) who recommended charging Mutua with the murder.
The DPP concurred with IPOA and directed prosecution to charge the senior officer.
After hearing evidence from 18 witnesses, Justice Mutuku, on December 13,2018 found Mutua guilty of murder saying the prosecution had proved beyond reasonable doubt that it was him and not any other person who was responsible for the killings.
On Thursday, while sentencing Mutua, the judge observed that section 204 of the penal code provides death as the penalty for murder.
Further, Justice Mutuku said she is aware her court has the discretion to mete out a sentence other than death.
The Judge said she had also considered a victim impact report tabled by IJM lawyers- representing Koome’s family and a probation report.
“It is non-irrefutable fact that the deceased death deprived his family a breadwinner, a husband and father. This fact has changed their lives forever,” observed the Judge.
To her, there is little anyone can say or do now to cushion Koome’s family against the pain caused by the death of the family – “it is only acceptance and time that can heal the pain the family has been subjected to.”
The judge dismissed Mutua’s mitigation argument that he was still innocent and called for a fresh probe.
Justice Mutuku said she believed after hearing all the evidence tabled in court that proper investigations were carried out before he was charged.
“I hereby sentence Nahashon Mutua to death as prescribed under section 204 of the penal code. He shall, therefore, suffer death in the manner prescribed in law,” the judge ruled.
Koome had been arrested over a domestic brawl at his home in Baba Dogo, Nairobi but later died after being tortured while in a police cell.
Mutua had in his defence admitted ordering Koome to be placed in the cells but claimed he was drunk.
Asked why he sent a drunk person in a cell with other suspects, Mutua said Ruaraka station had only one cell.
Koome’s cellmates said they saw the police officer beating and immersing Koome in a drum full of water.
When he was returned to the cell, the witnesses claimed Koome was wet and was also bleeding. He was taken to Kenyatta National Hospital where he died.
To this, Mutuku said Mutua misused his authority as an OCS and flouted the Constitution.
“It was in the interest of accused to flout the law so as to cover up what he did. The prosecution has proved its case beyond reasonable doubt and I believe that the death was caused by the injuries in which he sustained while at Ruaraka station,” said the Judge.
IPOA said in a statement that this milestone decision reiterates the Authority’s commitment to professionalise the National Police Service through holding to account culpable officers and also exonerating
those who are falsely accused. This aims to bring to life Article 244 of the Constitution.
Rights body International Justice Mission represented the family in the case.