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Appeal Court suspends Kinoti’s arrest warrant

The Court of Appeal has suspended an arrest warrant against DCI boss George Kinoti (pictured above) until April 1, 2022.

Justices Imaana Laibuta, Fatuma Sichale and Mbogholi Msagha said on Wednesday, December 15, that, in early April next year, they will rule on Kinoti’s appeal, challenging his four-month jailing by the High Court.

Kinoti moved to the higher court, seeking to quash his jailing for refusing to return businessman Jimi Wanjigi’s guns after he was ordered to do so by the High Court.

Kinoti argued that the High Court refused to listen to his side of the story, which stated that he (Kinoti) was not the custodian of Jimi Wanjigi’s firearms, and that the Firearms Licensing Board should have been questioned.

This comes as another petition has been filed before the Judicial Review Division seeking to have the DCI compelled to arrest Wanjigi for being in possession of illegal firearms and ammunition.

According to documents filed in court, Memba Ocharo argues that Wanjigi's conduct has previously been questionable hence he should not be allowed to possess the firearms.

"Wanjigi will soon receive the firearms and ammunition that were initially confiscated yet the Firearm Board has never conducted a due process that is in accord to the law to have Wanjigi firearms certificate procedurally revoked in a manner anticipated in the ruling of this court in Republic v Firearms Licensing Board & another; Ex parte Jimi Wanjigi[2019]," reads court papers.

Through lawyer Danstan Omari, Ocharo says  Wanjigi is a former Inspector of Police and was stripped of all his police powers and ordered to surrender all his firearms and ammunition in his custody following numerous incidences and complaints about his misuse of firearms. 

The petitioner claims long after Wanjigi was dismissed from employment with the Police Service for misuse of firearms in threatening and intimidating members of the public, he has nonetheless been a licensed firearms holder until January 30, 2018, when the firearm licensing board revoked his firearms' certificate.

Omari said some of the firearms that were possessed by Wanjigi are only allowed for the military.

The case filed seeking Wanjigi's arrest comes amid controversy revolving around a court ruling directing the imprisonment of Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti.

The DCI boss was on November 18 sentenced to four months at the Kamiti Maximum Prison for contempt of court after he allegedly declined to hand back to Wanjigi seven firearms seized by police during a raid at the businessman's home in Malindi in 2017.

In June 2019, Justice Chacha Mwita ruled that the State acted irrationally by seizing Wanjigi's firearms while he still had a valid license.

The DCI boss had been given 30 days in early 2021 by the High Court in Nairobi to return Wanjigi's firearms, as ordered in 2019. 

The deadline for the DCI to comply with the orders was March 25, 2021.

After DCI failed to return the firearms, Wanjigi filed a contempt of court proceedings suit, seeking to have them committed to civil jail. 

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