The court has ruled that the Member of Parliament for Embakasi East, Paul Ongili, also known as Babu Owino, must answer to allegations of misusing a firearm at a nightclub in Kilimani, Nairobi back in January 2020.
Milimani Senior Principal Magistrate Bernard Ochoi rejected the MP’s claim that the prosecution could not prove its case, and agreed that there was sufficient evidence presented to require the MP to defend his actions.
According to the charges, the MP was accused of being disorderly whilst carrying a gun and firing one bullet with the intent of shooting Felix Orinda, also known as DJ Evolve, at the B-Club on January 17, 2020.
The prosecution has claimed that the MP violated Sections 33 and 31(1) of the Firearms Act, which could result in a fine of up to Sh10,000 or imprisonment for a year, or both, if found guilty.
Despite the decision to put the MP on his defence, this does not imply that he is guilty. Instead, it means that the court needs to hear his side of the story before reaching a verdict on his innocence or guilt. The defence hearing is scheduled to start on June 15, 2023, and Mr Owino is currently out on bail.
The trial court previously allowed the victim to withdraw the attempted murder charge, but based on the prosecution’s objection, upheld the second count for misuse of a firearm.
As part of an out-of-court settlement, the MP agreed to buy an apartment for DJ Evolve and his family, pay medical bills and expenses of the victim, and provide financial support to the DJ due to his immobile state.
In December 2021, Mr Owino was acquitted by court after paying a medical bill of Sh9.8 million and agreeing to pay a further Sh6.9 million in pending medical bills and nursing care costs. Additionally, he will set up a music academy for DJ Evolve once he recovers and is able to use it to generate income.
The court had previously prohibited Mr Owino from indulging in alcohol and drugs during the case, as well as commenting on the case in any public forum.
While being put on his defence is a serious matter, the MP still has the opportunity to clear his name, and we will have to wait until the hearing to see what happens next.