Supermarket attendant held in Kamiti for two years without trial awarded Ksh 5 million

Kamiti Maximum Prison. [Photo by Nation]

Separated from his family and hauled into Kamiti Maximum Prison for two years for something he did not commit is a wound still fresh for Anthony Waigwe.

He called the tiny cells of Kamiti Maximum Prison home for two years after being accused of robbery with violence.

On Friday, Justice James Makau while ruling in a petition by Waigwe said that his rights were infringed on when police detained him for two years without trial.

“It is not right in a civilised society like ours to close our eyes, ears and mouths when police officers arrest and charge innocent Kenyan youths and have them taken through unnecessary criminal trial,” ruled Justice Makau.

He maintained that at the time of arrest, the suspect has a right to be informed why he is being arrested and also subject them to trial.

Justice Makau awarded Waigwe Ksh5 million for violation of his rights saying that his wrongful incarceration had a negative impact on his livelihood and reputation.

“The petitioner was arrested for no apparent reason, arraigned when there was no evidence against him and waited for hearing for 23 months, which never ever took place. He lost his employment and his reputation damaged, which justifies the payment for damages,” the judge stated.

On the morning of July 22, 2015, Waigwe was arrested by police officers in Kayole on his way to work.

He was headed to Selfridges Supermarket in Donholm where he worked and was not told the reason for his arrest.

He was taken in and locked in police cells for eight days.

According to the Kenyan law, a suspect is supposed to be produced in court for trial within 24 hours after his arrest.

He was later taken to court with another suspect and freed on Sh1 million bond which confined him to prison cells for two years since he could not raise the money.

He never appeared in court all through.