It beats my understanding how the Limuru Senior Resident Magistrate’s Court acquitted Apostle James Ng’ang’a & his 3 co-accuseds of the offences they were facing under section 210 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) while purporting to defer the reasons for the said to a later date.
While they may still have ended up being acquitted under section 215 of the CPC for a failure to prove the prosecution’s case beyond reasonable doubt, at least one of the accuseds must have had a case to answer considering the evidence adsuced.
The acquittal under section 210 of the CPC is with all due respect to the learned trial magistrate an error both in facts and law. Of course the State shall appeal.
The impending appeal by the ODPP against the baseless acquittal shall surely be allowed and the acquittal reversed and the Apostle and or any of his accomplices placed on their defence.
Ordinarily, the court after prosecution’s case would want to hear accused’s side of the story so as to make a fair decision on the case. I want to believe that the prosecution had made the decision to charge based on substantial evidence. Clearly this was a matter that could not be decided under section 210cpc with due respect to the learned magistrate
An acquittal under section 210 is to the effect that no evidence at all was placed before the court that linked the accused to the alleged offence. That’s almost impossible with the screening of files by the ODPP before charges are preferred.
Furthermore, for a matter of such great public interest, the accuseds’ story should have been heard. The fact that the reasons for the acquittal were deferred doesn’t help.
Of course I have said these with all due respect to the learned trial court.
As regards the chances of success of a prospective appeal, with the circumstances at hand, I can bet that the appeal shall be successful at least to the extent that the accused persons or at least one of them shall be placed on their defence.
However allow me to ask, does the law permit a trial magistrate to give a ruling under section 210 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) and defer reasons thereof?
As regards the likely outcome of the appeal, Iam of the respectful view that some errors on the part of the trial courts are so glaring that it would be obvious that the trial itself was a mistrial and it would be obvious that the same would be so declared.