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Why Babu Owino Was Acquitted Of Attempted Murder

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Embakasi East MP Babu Owino is now off the hook over charges of attempted murder after his shooting victim Felix Orinda alias DJ Evolve to withdraw the case against him.

While withdrawing the charges, the DJ who survived death by a whisker informed the court that Babu had cleared his hospital bill, which stood at Sh9.4 million, and bought him a house and a customized car.

Senior Principal Magistrate Bernard Ochoi acquitted the controversial MP over the charge of attempted murder but declined to withdraw the second charge of behaving disorderly while carrying a firearm.

“Taking all the above into account, i have come to the conclusion that is a matter where the court should encourage reconciliation as envisaged in the constitution and therefore i will allow the request to withdraw the charges against the accused count I. The charges in count I are therefore withdrawn under section 204 Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) aand accused acquitted”, ruled the Magistrate.

Owino was charged in January last year with attempting to murder DJ Evolve, by shooting him in the neck. The incident happened at B Club in Kilimani, Nairobi on January 17.

The court noted that Babu was currently undertaking certain obligations in effort for restitution and that the two were friends before the shooting. “It appears they maintained the friendship even after the incident,” he said.

“This is a matter where the court should encourage reconciliation as envisaged in the constitution and therefore, I will allow the application to withdraw the charges against the accused in count 1,” he ruled.

The Magistrate noted that the apartment would ease DJ Evolve’s burden of paying house rent. “Regarding engaging a specialist, the same has been done and the results were evident as the DPP mentioned in the cause of the negotiations that they had observed that the complainant’s health had improved which was courtesy of the specialist that he continues to receive from the Nairobi Hospital,” he said.

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According to Ochoi, the concerns raised by the DPP regarding the welfare of DJ Evolve had been covered in the deed of agreement.

Babu had earlier been released Sh10 million cash bail deposited in court to be used to settle the medical bill, while he was still admitted in hospital and subsequent treatment upon discharge.

On March 15, the Magistrate had declined to allow application for withdrawal of the case saying unconditional withdrawal of the case was not appropriate.

“Unconditional withdrawal in my view is not appropriate in the circumstances of this case… the parties must come out openly in what form of compensation has been made to the victim and in pursuing restorative justice,” noted the Magistrate.

The DJ had said that after consultation with his family, they agreed to concentrate on his health rather than pursuing the case in court.

 “I am alive to the provisions of the victims protection act and the participation of the offender in restorative justice shall not prejudice the offender’s right any more or be deemed as evidence of admission of guilt,” ruled the Magistrate.

Babu Owino lawyer Duncan OkatchDuncan Okatch termed the decision as monumental and good for alternative dispute resolution.

“This is a very big win to the victim, victim protection act and the constitution in relation focusing on the interests of victim more than public interest”, said Okatch.

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