Two ex-cops sentenced to two years in prison for 2016 assault on bridegroom and friends
Friday, 24th February 2023
Two former police officers were on Tuesday, February 21, sentenced to two years in prison for beating and inflicting injuries on three men in Lamu County in 2016.
The convicts, Abubakar Abdalla Mohamed and George Kimani, were charged with assaulting the three men who were in their way to conduct a traditional bridal ceremony.
The case was taken to the Magistrate’s Court in Lamu after the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions independently reviewed an investigation file prepared by the independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA), and determined that the case had merit to be prosecuted in a court of law.
On the fateful day, the 2016 New Years Day, Ahmed Godhana a hopeful bridegroom was being escorted by his friend Abubakar Bocha, to meet his bride at Moa village, where she lived with her parents.
The journey started at Oda in Tana River County, where they hired transport services with Abderham Bokero as their driver.
The 100-kilometre journey involved passing through roadblocks mounted by either the police or military, since surveillance had been escalated in parts of the County due to persistent security threats.
As part of traditions by the communities living in the area, betrothal ceremonies take place at night and Godhana was looking forward to a return journey in the company of a new wife.
But on reaching a junction at Minjila area, the driver took a wrong turn that sent the party straight into the GSU camp.
The sentries there signaled them to stop at a distance, ordered them to approach the gates on their knees and thereafter the beatings started.
After a horrific ordeal at the hands of the GSU officers, the bridegroom lost consciousness and was taken to the nearby Witu Health Center. He was later transferred to Mpeketoni Hospital and finally at Tawfiq Hospital in Malindi, where he regained consciousness on January 4, 2016.
Bocha too, was first treated at Witu in a lifeless state and later transferred to Mpeketoni where he regained consciousness while cuffed to a hospital bed.
Their driver was likewise treated at Witu but hours later, he was moved to the local police station and locked up.
On January 4, 2016, the police took him to the courts in Garsen where he was charged with assault, resisting and obstructing a police officer in execution of duty.
IPOA recommended that these charges against the driver be withdrawn.
In the court’s Tuesday ruling, the sentencing judge also issued the former officers alternative fines of one hundred thousand shillings (Ksh100,000), for each of the three counts.