Police Inspector General Japhet Koome is facing a lawsuit related to the police fatalities that occurred during the 2017 General Elections when he served as the Nairobi Police Commander. The Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC), Muslims for Human Rights (MUHURI), and Khelef Khalifa are demanding an investigation into Koome’s actions, alleging that police officers used excessive and deadly force to suppress dissent, resulting in the deaths of 33 individuals in Nairobi.
The turmoil unfolded following the disputed victory of President Uhuru Kenyatta, leading to these tragic incidents. According to the petition, government pathologists confirmed that the deceased had died from gunshot wounds. However, the lawsuit asserts that not all the victims were on the streets; some tragically lost their lives in their homes and businesses.
The petitioners claim that their previous requests for access to the investigation records regarding these killings went unanswered, forcing them to resort to a legal battle to obtain the necessary reports. They explain that on January 24, 2023, they reached out to the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) seeking information on their actions regarding the killings, but the response was significantly delayed.
“IPOA’s response only came on April 12, confirming that they were investigating only 15 out of the 33 cases,” they stated.
IPOA and the Attorney-General (AG) have also been named as defendants in the lawsuit alongside Koome. Khalifa reveals that he personally wrote to Koome on July 26, 2023, seeking updates on the progress of the investigation into the remaining 18 cases. However, Koome’s response was delayed until August 15, and he declined to provide details, instead directing Khalifa to seek answers from IPOA.
The petitioners are now seeking the court’s intervention to facilitate their access to the investigation report, with the aim of holding those responsible accountable for their actions.