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Widow of Man Killed in Police Cell Seeks Compensation in Court

Former Ruaraka OCS Nahashon Mutua during a court proceeding. Photo/courtesy

The widow of Martin Koome, a man killed in a police cell in December 2013 by OCS Nahashon Mutua, has sued the government seeking compensation.

Penina Nkatha Kaumbuthu has sued the Attorney General, inspector general of police, and Nahashon Mutua for the death of her husband who died in a police cell.

The latter was sentenced to death in February 2019 after he was found guilty of the murder of the suspect in custody.

Mr. Koome had been arrested over a domestic brawl at his home in Baba Dogo but later died after being tortured while in a police cell. Evidence showed that Mr Koome was assaulted using a metal pipe and his head immersed in a drum of water.

To cover up his act, the OCS framed one Mr. Kevin Odhiambo who was charged with the murder. This was before the latter filed a complaint with the Independent Policing Oversight Authority ( IPOA).

IPOA investigation established that the charge was a cover-up to save Mr. Mutua. Mr. Odhiambos’s case was then terminated by the Director of Public Prosecutions and nine months later Mr. Mutua was charged with the murder.

In her petition, the widow accuses the state of violating his right to life as guaranteed in the constitution. She argues that it was inhumane when the former OCS subjected him to violence and cruelty leading to his death.

“My late husband was treated in an inhumane and degrading manner by the law enforcement officers at Ruaraka police station who were under the OCS when they failed to take him to the hospital immediately after he sustained life-threatening injuries,” her petition reads in part.

Through her lawyer Ruth Kihuria of international Justice mission, she says, “My husband was a young man with a family and was at the prime of his life. Since his death, I continue to suffer grief and enduring trauma with my children from the untimely death.”

She also contends the IG’s failure to investigate all officers who acted together with the OCS in her late husband’s (Martin Koome) death amounts to the violation of his right to equal protection.

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