The Meru police officer in confrontation with the injured man in Nkubu town on January 11, 2022. PHOTO/COURTESY

By Sarah Omondi

The Independent Policing Oversight Authority (Ipoa) has launched investigations into the Tuesday shooting of Meru man by a police officer in Nkubu town for allegedly not wearing a mask in public.

Mr Pharis Karani Gitobu was shot and injured on the left ankle outside one of the banks in the town in Imenti South Sub-County.

The officer Roy Muchiri, after shooting Mr Karani surrendered himself at Nkubu Police Station and was immediately arrested and disarmed. He had AK-47 rifle loaded with 29 rounds of ammunition.

The injured man was rushed to Nkubu Consolata Mission Hospital for treatment.

Ipoa on Wednesday announced that probe had been launched and that upon conclusion, the Authority will not hesitate to make recommendations including prosecution of the police officer.

The Authority is also investigating mysterious deaths of Mr Vitalis Okinda and Mr Ibrahim Omar while in police custody at Bondo Police Station and Rhamu, Mandera respectively.

The death of the 26-year-old Okinda on Monday night in the hands of police sparked protests in Bondo town on Tuesday with his family and residents demanding for justice.

Mr Okinda reportedly had a scuffle with a security guard at one of the hospitals last Thursday where he had gone to get a Covid-19 jab prompting confiscation of his motorcycle by police officers from Bondo Station.

The officers reportedly took the motorcycle while the man was receiving the jab after the guard prevented him from getting inside the facility with it.

According to his family, a police officer the subsequent day advised Mr Okinda to go pick his motobike at the Station where he was arrested and later charged with assault and resisting arrest.

His family could not raise the Sh40, 000, that police reportedly demanded, to secure his release before arraigment on Monday this week.

The family learnt of their son’s mysterious death from a friend on Tuesday.

Post-mortem showed that Mr Okinda died from brain trauma caused by head injury which was inflicted by a blunt object.

Mr Omar was shot while trying to escape from police cell in Rhamu, Mandera. The family has accused police of using excessive force and demanded action against the officers involved.

Ipoa said it had dispatched its officers in Bondo and Rhamu to collect crucial information to help in the ongoing investigations.


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