Man Beaten By Cops During COVID-19 Curfew Awarded Sh1.5m

October 11, 2023

A man who was assaulted by police officers during COVID-19 curfew restrictions has been awarded a compensation of Sh1.5 million.

The Court penalized Inspector General of Police, Japheth Koome, Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki, and the Directorate of Public Prosecutions with the specified amount for violating the dignity of James Atogo Ogero, a medical worker, on March 28, 2020.

The medical worker testified that he was conducting his duties in Nambale, Busia County on his motorcycle when, without any provocation, Officer Jibril Shabel struck him across the face with a baton. This caused him to lose control of the bike, resulting in him landing on the side of the road.

Ogero further explained that more police officers joined in and assaulted him with batons, accusing him of violating the curfew lockdown.

“Members of the public intervened to save me from the wrath of the police but were dispersed. When they (police) stopped the assault, I was assisted by wananchi to move to Nambale Health Centre, where I was examined and received first aid before being transferred to Aga Khan Hospital, Kisumu,” he testified.

Justice William Musyoka ruled that the officers, along with their immediate superior, then Nambale Police Station Chief Inspector Rolex Nyoka, who were implicated in beating Ogero during the arrest, deserved a punitive penalty.

“When Article 28 of the Constitution is applied to a situation where the police have to effect an arrest or enforce administrative regulations, like a curfew, the dignity of the person to be arrested has to be respected and protected. The Article is specific that human dignity is inherent. Inherent in all human beings, and any action contemplated against any human being, must be carried out with the background that he or she has inherent dignity,” he said.

“There was a violation of rights of Ogero, as enshrined in Articles 28 and 29, and he is entitled to reliefs under Article 22 of the Constitution, specifically that related to compensation. Taking everything into account, I order payment of compensation by the respondents, in the sum of Sh1.5 million. Cost of litigation to be paid by respondents,” Justice Musyoka ruled.

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