During the hearing on Friday, 27 July 2018, Migori High court judge Anthony Mrima maintained that Daniel Baru Nyamohanga was in police custody when he disappeared on 12 January 2017.
Inspector General of Police told the court he has sent signals to all police stations and border posts to help unravel the whereabouts of Baru who disappeared in police custody last year.
Daniel Baru Nyamohanga was arrested by the Administration Police officers at Kehancha town and taken into custody at the Kehancha Police Station on 12 January 2017.
Baru has not been seen since that day. This forced the family to petition court to have him produced in court.
The Court held on 31 May 2018 that: “An order of Habeas Corpus is hereby directed to the OCS Kehancha police Station to produce the person or the body of one Daniel Baru Nyamohanga before a court of law by close of business on Monday the 4 day of June 2018.”
Kehancha OCS Kipsaina Serem failed to comply with the order and the judged held him in contempt of court.
Peter Thuku, who was representing IG Joseph Boinet told the court that the IG was taking the matter seriously.
“The DCI is conducting investigations, he has recorded statements from the 4th respondent (OCS) and others. He has sent signals to border posts to establish whether he may have left the country. He has published the order of a missing person,” Thuku said.
Thuku said the IG had complied with the court orders and had sent his representative since the court summons was issued.
“The Immigration Department has been notified, various police stations have been sent signals to help trace the 1st petitioner. Time is needed to get the outcome of this investigations. The 1st petitioner could be in any part of this country, and IG would require the input of all bodies involved to work together closely to resolve the case,” Thuku told the court.
Justice Anthony Mrima ordered the contempt hearing to proceed despite spirited attempts by the Attorney General’s office to stop the proceedings.
During his submission, the OCS said he has made efforts to comply with the habeas corpus, with his employer ordering fresh investigations to establish on the whereabouts of the petitioner who has been missing for more than one year. Saina said the orders require time for him to comply.
“The OCS was not properly represented in court, he wasn’t represented by an officer from AG office. We are seeking for his right to fair representation,” his lawyer told the court.
But the judge said he had already established that Baru was in police custody when he disappeared.
“We have already settled the matter of custody; how long do you want to produce the petitioner in court? We cannot stop these proceedings now. The ruling has been made, this contempt case will proceed,” the judge said.
The court has set 30 July 2018 to rule on whether the OCS is in contempt of court or not. If found guilty he faces a six months jail term.