BY PHOEBE WANJOHI.
A Nairobi court has allowed Anti-Terrorism Police Unit to detain two suspects for 10 days as they investigate them for possible terror links.
James Mburu Ikaba and Miriam Njoki were arrested on January 4, 2020 while taking photographs at GSU camp at Ruiru. The police took them to court on Monday and asked for more time to conduct invetsigations.
While allowing their detention, Milimani senior principal magistrate Kennedy Cheruiyot said that from the affidavit of the investigating officer the two were collecting information for purposes of terrorism activities.
“I am taking judicial notice that the offences the two suspects are likely to face are serious in nature following the recent attacks at Nanyuki Military camp and LA Mada in Lamu county. The court thus finds compelling reasons to hold the two until the investigations in the matter are complete,” the magistrate ruled.
He granted the orders after ATPU sought for for time saying that holding the suspects for more than 24 hours would amount to violation of their rights.
The two were arrested at the GSU Recce Company in Ruiru. “The suspects are being investigated for several terrorism and related offences which include collection of information contrary to the Anti-Terrorism Act 2012,” prosecutor Joseph Kiarie said.
Before their arrest, the two suspects were on board in a Land cruiser which was parked outside the GSU Recce.
It is said that the suspects were taking photos of the Ruiru company premises and upon intervention by the GSU officers on duty they sped off.
“The GSU officers tried to stop the respondents but they refused to stop prompting the officers to shoot and deflate a left rare tyre of their motor vehicle, “the prosecution said.
Ikaba is said to have been the driver and suspected owner of the said motor vehicle while Njoki was a passenger.
The court heard that on a quick search of the motor vehicle, the officers on duty recovered seven rounds of 9mm ammunition.
Further the officers were led to Ikaba’s house in Marurui Estate, Kiambu County and recovered several suspect items including a pistol, a short gun and 45 rounds of ammunition.
Appearing at a Milimani court before senior principal magistrate Kennedy Cheruiyot, the defence objected the application to detain the two claiming that Ikaba is a licensed firearm owner.
They further argued that the two suspects had already spent two days in custody thus ten days were too many.
The court thus directed that the matter be mentioned on January 16 to confirm the progress of the probe.