By Jude Titus
The owners of the Huruma building; Samuel Karanja and Henry Karanja that collapsed on Friday night after heavy rains pounded Nairobi were on Tuesday arraigned at the Milimani Law Courts to face charges over the demise of more than 20 people.
Three government officials who were also arraigned include; Chrispas Ndinyo, Director National Construction, Director of Planning and Compliance at Nairobi County Government Justus Kathenge and Seline Ogallo, the Mathare sub-county administrator. The five did not plead to the charges.
According to the police, the two brothers who own the building will face manslaughter charges once the rescue operations are over and the death toll established.
‘‘We have written to the Director of Public Prosecutions, Keriako Tobiko for advice regarding the offences the suspects are to face,’’ said Starehe OCPD Seroney Kiberenge on Monday.
The prosecution in the case however wants the five detained for 21 days indicating the possibility of them interfering with the ongoing investigations. It is after the 21 days when the DPP Tobiko will announce the charges they will be facing.
‘‘The suspects are facing likelihood of being charged with either the offence of murder or manslaughter once investigations are complete and hence they are likely to abscond if released on bail and if they are released, they will likely jeopardize the ongoing investigations,’’ indicated Prosecutor Dancun Ondimu.
Ondimu also added that the suspects’ life might be in danger following the outrage exhumed by members of the public after the loss of more 20 people and others still missing.
The five however challenged the prosecution and on Wednesday the court will give a ruling on their bail application.
President Uhuru Kenyatta and Internal Security Cabinet Secretary, Joseph Nkaissery had earlier ordered for the immediate arrest of the owners of the collapsed building.
The Kenya Red Cross today located the father of a baby girl rescued from the rubble, more than three days after the collapse.
‘‘The baby has been taken to Nairobi Hospital with dehydration but there was no sign of physical injuries,’’ the Red Cross reported.
President Uhuru ordered an immediate audit of all the city buildings in January 2015 after a series of similar tragedies.