Court orders release of magistrate held over loss of heroin

A Mombasa High Court has issued conservatory orders for the immediate release of Principal Magistrate Edga Kagoni arrested over reckless handling of exhibits that led to loss of 10 kgs of heroin valued at Ksh30 million.

Magistrate Rueben Nyakundi ordered the embattled magistrate be released on a Ksh 20,000 cash bail or a Ksh100,000 bond with the surety of a similar amount.

Kagoni was arrested alongside Abdalla Awadh Abubakar (Executive Assistant, Mombasa Law Courts), Lawrence Thoya Bayan (Support staff Mombasa Law Courts) and Onesmus Miinda Momanyi (Court Assistant, Ruiru Law courts).

The DPP is conducting an inquiry into allegations of theft and reckless handling of over 10kgs of heroin where Principal Magistrate Edgar Kagoni and three other court officials are [persons of interest.

The two consignments in question are alleged to be exhibits in a narcotic criminal case which was concluded in June this year where three suspects were found guilty and sentenced to 30 years imprisonment or a cash bail of 90 million shillings.

According the DPP however, Kagoni had refused an oral application to hand over the drugs to Anti-narcotic police unit, saying the police lacked proper storage facility.

The Principal Magistrate however allowed his court assistant Onesmus Momanyi to store the consignment but the same couldn’t be traced and its whereabouts remain a mystery.

On the wee hours of Monday morning a day after his arrest, Kagoni was flown from Mombasa to the JKIA law courts to be arraigned, a state of affairs that did not hinder his lawyers to appeal for conservatory orders for his release.

Appearing before the High Court Judge Reuben Nyakundi, his legal team challenged the DPPs motive even as they called on the Court to ensure that the independence of the Judiciary is respected.





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