Two police officers have been cleared of wrongdoing following an incident during which two men were shot and injured at Merti, Isiolo County.
The recommendation to clear the officers was informed by findings of an investigation by the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) into the April 15, 2019 incident.
The case file containing the circumstances surrounding the shooting, findings and the recommendations, as well as other pieces of evidence, would be forwarded to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP), for an independent review.
In line with the law, the DPP has a discretion; either consent to IPOA’s recommendations or give other directions.
The investigation established that Daudi Huka Galgalo and Barak Edin Halakhe were riding on two motor cycles, at about 4.30 am along Merti -Malkadaka – Barmbate Road before they bumped on police officers.
Earlier at 3 am, the duo had left Gafarsa, where they had taken a rest after the ride that had started in Merti at around 6 pm the previous day.
They never made it to the intended destination – Barmbate – because on reaching Madogaya, they ran into police officers who were travelling in a white vehicle.
During interviews, they told IPOA investigators that they sped past the police vehicle after they heard gunshots.
They fell off their bikes as they sped off – Edin was shot on the back while a bullet hit Huka on the leg, causing a fracture.
On pursuit, the officers caught up with them, lifted them to the police car – an unbranded white Toyota Land Cruiser – and took them to Barmbate Dispensary.
Three of the four officers were in police uniform.
They were later transferred to Isiolo County hospital.
Due to the extent of the injuries sustained, Edin was later admitted at Meru Level Five hospital.
He was discharged after two weeks and placed in custody at Isiolo Police Station.
On April 23, 2019 and April 25, 19, they were charged at the Magistrate’s Court in Isiolo with trafficking cannabis sativa, an illegal drug colloquially known as bhang.
They denied the charges.
One of the riders, in a statement to the Authority, indicated each of them was carrying eight-five (85) kilograms of bhang on their motorbikes, having purchased the consignment from a dealer in Moyale.
IPOA investigators further examined police reports, which indicated that acting on “intelligence” the officers had left their station at Merti with the aim of arresting suspects who were transporting bhang, which was recovered in “thirty-six (36) bales.”
After six months of trial, Chief Magistrate SM Mungai found Edin guilty of the offence and sentenced him to fifteen (15) years in prison with an alternative fine of five (5) million shillings.
The sentence was reduced to six (6) years on appeal while the other matter is pending at the court.
In its recommendations, IPOA also referred to the National Police Service Act, which in part says a police officer may use arms against “any person who by force prevents or attempts to prevent the lawful arrest of himself or of any other person.”
The Authority also noted: “That the police officers were justified to shoot with an aim of immobilising the escaping suspects who were transporting narcotic drugs.”