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Police IG, Ipoa sued over 2017 post-election deaths during Uhuru administration

Inspector General (IG) Japheth Koome has been sued over cases of police brutality and killings during the 2017 post-general elections.

In reference to the 2017 post-election police killings in Nairobi, the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC), Muslims for Human Rights (MUHURI), and Khelef Khalifa have filed a lawsuit against Inspector General of Police Japhet Koome.

The Human Rights Groups have referred to the 2017 general elections after Uhuru Kenyatta was announced President by IEBC’s Wafula Chebukati resulting in nationwide protests.

“The petition has centered on the aftermath of the 2017 presidential election, during which police employed brutal and deadly force to suppress dissent, resulting in 33 fatalities in the capital,” the lobbies said.

Koome was then Nairobi Police Commander.

The activists claim that Japhet Koome, who was the Nairobi Police Commander at the time, used excessive force in response to protests in Nairobi, resulting in the deaths of 33 individuals.

The government pathologist claimed in the appeal that 33 people died from gunshot wounds, some of them were killed in their homes and places of business and were not participating in protests.

The petitioners have noted their efforts to reach the Independence Police and Oversight Authority (IPOA) for information on the killings were met with delays and the body was only investigating 15 cases.

”Like IPOA, Koome delayed his response up to August 15. According to the petition, Koome declined to furnish details of the investigation and redirected Khalifa to seek answers from IPOA,” KHRC noted in a statement.

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Protests broke after former President Uhuru Kenyatta was announced the president for the second and final term. 

In their petition, the rights groups have also sued IPOA and the Attorney General for their involvement and failure to probe police killings and delay in the ongoing investigations.

The petitioners ask the three to submit papers regarding the deaths and the investigations in their petition. 

Additionally, the petitioners claim that the IPOA, the Attorney General, and IG Koome have a constitutional obligation to look into, file, and publish reports on such crimes. 

The groups also want the court to issue conservatory orders directing preservation of all documents and files stated in their application.

The case will be mentioned on September 28 and has several interested parties including the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR), and the Independent Medico-Legal Unit (IMLU).

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