A human rights activist claims that the recently introduced virtual courts system has opened up avenues of corruption at various police stations.
Centre Against Torture Programmes manager Kimutai Kirui said the system was abused to deny justice to victims as police were bribed to mess up solid cases and at times release suspects on lesser fines after money exchanged hands.
In a protest letter to Baringo Police Commander and copied to local judiciary, IPOA and ODPP, Kirui alleges that police nowadays tear off pages of the occurrence book (OB) and make new entries to cover their tracks.
He cited a case in Makutano police station in Koibatek sub county where the OCS apart from releasing a suspect nabbed with 19 rolls of bhang went ahead to take a bribe to release another rape suspect and even prepared an enquiry file claiming that the accused person was wrongly put in custody without the courts deliberating on the matter.
In another case Kirui claimed that a standard five kid allegedly defiled by suspect was put in a police cell at Kabarnet police station under the orders of the OCS yet she needed to be taken to hospital for medical examination while the suspect walked scot free.
“It is so sad that a standard five kid who was allegedly defiled by a suspect is put in police cells at Kabarnet under the orders of the OCS yet she needed to be taken to hospital to be examined by a medical practitioner while the suspect walked scoot free,” he lamented.
Addressing Journalists in Kabarnet town, Kirui pointed out that the government is losing millions from such dubious means which end at the pockets of a few individuals and thus denying victims justice.
“If this is the trend then the government is losing a lot of money because in the case of Makutano for example, the accused was to pay a Sh50,000 fine through the Bank as stipulated by law but ended up paying Sh30,000 direct to the OCS,” he said.
The programmes manager said his organization in collaboration with IPOA was keenly monitoring the incidents that happened in the last three weeks to ensure justice was accorded to the victims.
Kirui said that it was shocking to note that the OCSs from the two stations openly aided suspects to escape from lawful custody in total disregard of the rule of law.
Kirui said that it is from such incidences where the reputation of the National Police Service (NPS) is being tarnished by a few disgruntled officers who do not want to follow due process of the law.
The human rights crusader has urged judiciary stakeholders to do an audit of all convicts sentenced through virtual courts in the two stations to establish how many paid fines at the station to the courts and how many were taken into prison.
He also called on local leadership including the office of women representative, county commander as well as Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA Kenya) to play a crucial role of becoming the watchdog of the public to curtail such immoral acts from happening at the society.
Baringo county commander Robinson Ndiwa in response has said that the concerns have been forwarded to the office of Inspector of Police to be analyzed and investigated.