Police apply to have Huruma building suspects held for 21 days

By Asha Hamisi

Police have applied for 21 days to detain five suspects arrested over the collapsed building in Huruma, to enable them determine what charges to prefer against them.

The five are two brothers who own the collapsed building;Samuel Kamau Karanja and Henry Karanja, together with Chrispus Sifuna, Justus Mwendwa and Seline Anyango from the National Construction Authority and Nairobi County government.

State Prosecutor, Duncan Ondimu, told the court that investigations ought to be completed in order to decide whether to prefer murder or manslaughter charges. He urged the court to remand the suspects at an unknown police station for their safety due to anger from members of the public.

Ondimu went on to say that the county government officials are likely to interfere with ongoing investigations due to the positions they hold at the County Government.

The court heard that preliminary investigations have revealed that the building was illegally constructed and occupied as it stands in riparian land.

But the suspects through their advocates opposed the application, arguing that bail is a constitutional right for every Kenyan and they have no intention of absconding court proceedings. They argued that 21 days is a long time to detain them since they are family men.

Meanwhile, the National Disaster Management Unit (NDMU) says the girl who was rescued Tuesday morning is recuperating well at Kenyatta National Hospital.

The NDMU’s Incident Commander, Pius Maasai, said the girl appeared to be in a stable condition.

Maasai also said the rescue process at the collapsed building was progressing well, adding that the joint team carrying out the exercise comprising the military, the National Police and the National Youth Service would work to conclude the process which was constrained by space.

Monday marked the fourth day since the house collapsed.

The death toll from the scene stands at 23 and so far 136 persons have been rescued.

Rescuers say they intend to clear the rubble today even as 117 persons are reported missing.

Nairobi police boss Japheth Koome said the teams at the scene were working hard to save more lives.


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