Tight skirt Policewoman sues IG Joseph Boinnet over demotion
The application filed under a certificate of urgency at Milimani Law Courts, Linda Okello has urged the court to review the order to demote her over allegations she claims she was never given an opportunity to respond. She also wants the court to compel the IG and his deputy to revert her back to her police corporal rank.
Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet, Traffic Commandant and Assistant Inspector General of Police Jacinta Kinyua, Senior Superintendent of Police Traffic headquarters Julius Wanjohi, Staffing Officer Personnel, Julius Ndung’u have been named as respondents and interested parties.
Through lawyer Tom Ojienda, Linda says that she was enlisted as a police officer in May 2003 after training at Kiganjo Police College after which she was posted to Kisii for general duties.
Linda said she joined the Traffic Department in 2009 after attending two months course and posted to Kiambu. She says she has diligently served the police service for 13 years with a clean record of service and she was promoted to the rank of corporal in 2008 and has served in that position for eight years.
Linda says her name was listed in a group of officers who were due for promotion in March this year due to her hard work and dedication in her duties.
The officer says on January 14 she was arrested while on duty along Kiambu-Ruiru Road at around 9.00 am by Julius Wanjohi who was in the company Emily Nguruiya and Corporal James Mutume.
Linda claimed she was immediately escorted to police headquarters and soon after served with a waiver notice at around 11.00 am. She alleges that Mr Wanjohi immediately appointed Mr Ndungu as a presiding officer to conduct orderly room proceedings against her and she was charged with the offence committing an act which amounts to corruption contrary to the law.
She claims that the proceedings were conducted as from 12.00 pm.
“Notably, Mr Wanjohi was the star witness whereas his evidence contradicted with the officers who were together with him and thus not collaborated, the presiding officer (who is Wanjohi’s junior) took up the evidence of Wanjohi on whose basis he convicted the applicant,” Ojienda said in the court papers.
Ojienda claims that Linda sought for assistance from a senior police officer, a Charles Owino, the request was declined since Owino ranks higher than the presiding officer but she was never accorded the right to make an alternative arrangement as per the law.
“The applicant was neither accorded sufficient time to prepare for her defence and probably call witnesses since the orderly room proceedings were conducted a record five hours after an alleged commission of an offence by the applicant without any justifiable reason to do so. This was totally unprocedural and unconstitutional as it goes against the stipulated provisions of the law,” Ojienda stated.
Linda states that the orderly room proceedings were unprocedural, illegal and irrational. The officer says her seniors contravened the rules of natural justice in arriving at the impugned decision to demote her.
Ojienda claims that Linda was not afforded a fair trial as Mr Wanjohi who was the complainant was also the appointing authority of the presiding officer of the orderly room disciplinary proceedings and therefore in charge of the outcome of the entire disciplinary proceedings.
“The Senior Superintendent at Traffic Headquarters by appointing an officer under his direct command to conduct the orderly room proceedings in which he was the complainant and acting as a judge in his own cause then the applicant could not obtain a fair trial,” he told court.
Ojienda noted that refusal by the senior officers to accord Linda sufficient time to prepare for defence and probably call witnesses was in gross violation of the constitution. He also said the failure by the presiding officer to ascertain from Linda whether she was notified in writing of the alleged offence and why she had not been notified of the alleged offence within 24 hours as required by law.
Ojienda claimed that the Presiding Officer delivered his judgment on January 15 where he allegedly found Linda guilty of the offence as charged and forwarded the same to the traffic commandant Jacinta Kinyua for sentencing.
The lawyer said on January 19 the traffic commandant sentenced the applicant by demoting her to the rank of constable from her previous rank of corporal.
On January 22, Ojienda said Linda was not satisfied with the judgement and the sentence and she lodged an appeal with chairman of National Police Service Commission through the IG and his deputy.
He said later in a letter to the base commander Kiambu Mr Obadiah Rikura under the instructions of the traffic commandant Linda was informed that she followed the wrong channel of appeal that she should have appealed to DIG through the traffic commandant.
Ojienda said Linda took the advice and lodged another appeal on February 3 but the same was rejected by the traffic commandant without giving any reasons.
“The applicant thus lacks any channel to appeal against the impugned decision to demote her through a flawed process hence this honourable court is her only savior,” He said.