The National Police Service and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations have been ordered to return seven guns they confiscated from businessman Jimi Wanjigi in October 2017.
High Court judge Chacha Mwita said the security officers violated Mr Wanjigi’s rights by raiding his Muthaiga home without a warrant even after a court order was issued barring the search and seizure of the firearms.
Mr Wanjigi’s house was raided on October 16, 2017 just 10 days before the repeat presidential election. The opposition and activists said the raid was politically motivated.
During the raid, police seized four Glock pistols, one Smith & Wesson pistol, a Mini Archer assault rifle fitted with a laser, an M4CQ assault rifle and 646 bullets.
Mr Wanjigi’s brother and father were in the house during the search. Police destroyed CCTV cameras and other property in the house and compound.
The businessman sued a month later, seeking the return of his firearms, compensation for destruction of property and violation of his rights.
In response, police said they earlier raided a house in Malindi and found five pistols following a tip-off.
The occupants of the Malindi house reportedly said the property and guns belonged to Mr Wanjigi.
That prompted officers to proceed to Mr Wanjigi’s house in Nairobi a day later, prosecutors told the court.
Police insist that they got a search warrant on October 17, 2017 and only used reasonable force to gain entrance to the homestead after Mr Wanjigi refused to open the door.
SEARCH WAS ILLEGAL
The High Court said the search was illegal as no warrant had been issued.
It added that the search held the following day was legal as a warrant had been issued that morning. Justice Mwita said Mr Wanjigi failed to produce evidence of police having been served with orders to stop the search.
“Once a firearm certificate has been issued the police have no mandate to confiscate the holder’s firearm without lawful cause,” he said.
Credit: Source link