The Firearms and Licencing Board has defended the Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti over a recent stand-off over firearms confiscated from businessman Jimmy Wanjigi in 2017.
Kinoti was on November 18 handed a four-month jail sentence for disobeying a court order requiring him to return the guns to Wanjigi.
But in a letter to Wanjigi, through Otieno Ogol & Company Advocates, Firearms and Licencing Board Chairman Daniel Semei faulted the businessman for litigating the matter in the absence of the Board.
He said the guns are not in the custody of Kinoti but the Board which is the body mandated by law to deal with civilian firearms.
“It has come to our attention that issues touching on your firearms as a civilian which is the mandate of this board were litigated in court in our absence and our participation would have been necessary in helping the court reach a reasonable determination,” said Semei in the letter dated November 26 and copied to the Attorney General and Inspector General of Police.
“Further it has come to our attention that you have been litigating and enforcing court orders against the wrong parties whilst the right party is this Board as per the Firearms Act Chapter 114 of the Laws of Kenya. Kindly note that National Police Service does not store, keep and or deal with civilian firearms as alleged in the Petition 520 of 2017.”
Wanjigi’s actions, Semei said, were “mischievous”.
“From now henceforth, kindly consider dealing with the Board directly for any assistance and not the National Police Service,” he added.
Consequently, the Board directed Wanjigi to appear before it for mandatory vetting before his firearm license is renewed.
“Your client is directed to appear before the Board for mandatory vetting pursuant to the directive by the Cabinet Secretary Interior to all civilian firearm certificate holders to undergo the exercise and subsequent renewal of the Firearm Certificate,” added Semei.
“The directive is dated 5th December 2018 and all civilian firearm holders have undergone the same and in regard thereto, do avail letter of grant, disposal forms for all firearms, the certificate and such past correspondences with the Board.”
Earlier today, High Court Judge Anthony Mrima declined to set aside the sentence imposed on Kinoti.
While dismissing an application filed by the AG Kihara Kariuki, Justice Mrima ordered that the previous orders be complied with.
Justice Mrima had directed Kinoti to surrender to Kamiti Prison authorities within seven days. Failure to do so, IG Hillary Mutyambai is required to arrest him.