Azimio Sues Police IG Japhet Koome Over Deaths Of Over 70 People During Anti-Govt Demos

Azimio La Umoja One Kenya Coalition Party has sued the Inspector General of Police, the National Police Service and the Attorney General over the deaths of over 70 people during the anti-government demonstrations between March and June this year. 

In a petition filed at the High Court, Azimio seeks to have the courts find the IG and any commanders in charge of units or formations responsible for the acts of the officers under their command.

The protests led to the deaths of tens of people, with Azimio claiming that it established 75 deaths attributed to police action, the opposition outfit now wants those it says were responsible for the deaths and injuries held responsible.

“We want the police to compensate all the people who died and their families,” Azimio lawyer Paul Mwangi said.

In the suit, Azimio states that IG Japhet Koome and the police contravened the provisions of Articles 26 and 50 of the constitution of Kenya by depriving the 75 deceased persons of the right to life, without any cause as they were killed exercising their right to protest, demonstrate and picket as enshrined in the country’s laws.

“We want the courts to declare that the IG and all the people who were in charge during the protests that they violated their duties of command responsibility be held liable for the deaths and violations,” read the statement.

Azimio also states that Koome violated both international and national laws, by failing to ensure that the officers under his command exercised restraint, and maintained high standards of professionalism and discipline.

The opposition further states that the National Police Service stands accused of corruption, failure to promote transparency and accountability by failing to hold officers liable for the deaths accountable

“Once the courts declare that there is command responsibility and liability then we will go to the other laws that proved for punishment whether they be criminal or civil that apply,” Lawyer Mwangi added.

The IG of police has in the past denied police responsibility over the deaths of the protesters, and accused the opposition of stage managing the deaths.

“They go to the morgues, compromise attendants there and hire bodies of people who died in other means, accidents,” Koome said at the time.

The opposition says it is pursuing this case to prevent the police from acting in a similar fashion in future.

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