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Sunday, December 5, 2021

Court: Woman found in possession of firearm has case to answer

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A woman who was found in possession of a firearm has a case to answer, a Mandera court has ruled.

While delivering a ruling on Friday,  Mandera Senior Resident Magistrate Mukabi Kimani said Jamila Maalim Hussein Eymoi, 36,  will also answer to other charges including being in possession of ammunition and entering Kenya from Somalia through an illegal point.

Jamila was charged that on April 20, at around 6pm at Busley in Mandera East Sub County was allegedly found in possession of an AK-47 rifle.

Ms Eymoi did not have a firearm certificate as required by the law despite having a powerful firearm which was fitted with a magazine loaded with 13 rounds of ammunition.

She was also charged with being found in possession of 13 rounds of ammunition and sneaking into the country from Bulahawa through border point three along the Kenya Somalia border,  an area, which according to the police, is not designated as a point of entry.

Ms Eymoi pleaded guilty to all the charges on April 22, after police brought her before Mandera Law Courts but a week later, she changed her mind and pleaded not guilty.

The prosecution had asked to have facts of the matter presented on April 29 only for the accused to change her initial plea. She was released on a bond of Sh2 million with one surety of a similar amount.

However, she  wrote to the court requesting a review of the bond terms, saying that she comes from a poor a poor family that cannot raise the Sh2 million bond.

The prosecution led by Mr Allen Mulama, opposed her request.

On Friday, Mr Kimani ruled that the prosecution has established a prima facie case against the accused.

“The accused in this case is called upon to defend herself against the charges,” Mr Kimani ruled.

While ruling on whether there is merit to have the accused bond terms reviewed, Mr Kimani, the magistrate cited a case in the Supreme Court of the United States of America way back in 1951.

In the matter, Stack-Vs-Boyle U.S. 1.3 1951, the court provided guidelines in assessing whether bail is excessive starting from the premise that the traditional right to freedom before conviction permits the unhampered preparations of a defence and serves to prevent the infliction of punishment prior to conviction.

The presiding magistrate said enough evidence has been produced indicating that the accused is likely to abscond the court process.

“The court takes cognizance of the fact that the offences were committed within Mandera County which borders the porous borders of Ethiopia and Somalia and also that the prosecution has also closed its case,” Mr Kimani said.

The magistrate concluded by stating that the subsisting Covid-19 pandemic has ravaged livelihoods by diminishing their incomes therefore he could only review the bond terms and admitted the accused to bond of one million shillings with a surety of a similar amount.

Ms Eymoi said she will present a sworn affidavit and that she will call two witnesses to defend her against all the three charges.

Her defence will be heard on July 9, 2021.

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