The main suspect in the murder of businesswoman Monica Kimani Joseph Irungu alias ‘Jowie’ has been released on a Ksh2 million cash bail after spending 16 months and 19 days in remand.
Jowie’s lawyers had in their application asked the court to release their client arguing he had a right to enjoy the fair terms extended to his co-accused Jacque Maribe.
Delivering his ruling, High Court Judge Justice James Wakiaga agreed with Jowie’s lawyer saying that there was no compelling reason to deny his client bail.
The judge noted that the tampering with witnesses’ argument no longer suffices in this scenario since all of them have already testified in the case.
Justice Wakiaga further observed that however strong a case the prosecution has does not warrant holding the accused any longer than he has already been held.
The judge who made headlines for referring to Jowie as a “woman eater and a male version of a slay queen” in October 2018 however ordered Jowie not to comment on the case on social media or anywhere else.
Jowie was further ordered to report to the chief at his parent’s home in Nakuru every month, failure tow which the bail terms will be nullified.
Babu Case Comparisons
The Judiciary came under fierce criticism from Kenyans on social media after Embakasi East MP Babu Owino caught on CCTV shooting Felix “DJ Evolve” Orinda was released on January 27 this year on a Ksh10 million cash bail ten days after being arrested at the scene of the incident at B Club, Nairobi.
Most opined that it was unjust to detain a person who is yet to be found guilty of a murder they are accused of committing while another person of prominent stature caught on tape shooting a Kenyan citizen is released just days after his arrest.
It is instructive to note that Justice Wakiaga was already grappling with perceptions of prejudice after the ‘male version of a slay queen’ moniker went viral.
Denying ‘Jowie’ bail would have compounded on the argument that the accused is not being treated fairly by the justice system.
Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji has already raised issue Babu’s bail terms.
Monica Kimani Murder
Monica Kimani, a former Nation Media Group (NMG) employee and a businesswoman whose sources of wealth and business connections were not straight forward was found dead with her throat slit in a bathtub at her house in Lamuria Apartments, Kilimani Estate, Nairobi in September 2018.
Irungu was arrested after he filed a report at Lang’ata Police Station alleging he was shot on the chest by assailants on the same day but it would later be established that Jowie shot himself as a way to distance himself from the crime.
His fiance, the now-former Citizen TV anchor Jacque Maribe was also arrested after Jowie roped her in as his alibi.
He was charged with Monica’s murder on September 26 and has spent time in Industrial Area Prison. (Nairobi), Kamiti Maximum Prison (Nairobi) and Manyani Maximum Prison (Voi).
Media reports indicate that Jowie was moved to Manyani from Kamiti in December 2019 after being found to be in possession of contraband.