By Lorna Abuga.
A Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) officer has been arraigned in a Nakuru court to face rape charges. Before Principal Magistrate Liz Gacheha the court was told that the officer, Evans Ochieng Okello, allegedly committed the offence on 22 October 2015 in Lanet estate against a 20 year old university student.
Area OCS John Njue said that on the material day the accused person was accompanied by the complaint to his house after spending time together in a local bar. It is then that he is said to have committed the offense before.
“When the accused returned to his house to rest on that day, the young lady was in his company,”
said Njue who confirmed that the KDF officer was arrested on the same night after the complainant lodged a complaint.
However Akello denied the charges and was released on a bond of sh200,000 or a cash bail of sh100,000 with the surety of a similar amount.
The magistrate ordered medical examination to be conducted on the complaint to ascertain the rape allegations.
“Ensure that all the medical documents in support of the case are availed in court before the mention date,”
she said while moving that the case be mentioned on November 12 and be heard on December 10.
According to the Sexual Offenses Act, for a crime of rape to be proved the prosecution has to show that an accused person penetrated the genitals of the complainant without their consent.
“A person commits the offense termed rape if he or she intentionally and unlawfully commits an act which causes penetration with his or her genital organs,” the act partly says in Article 3.
The Act says that such a crime can even be punished by life imprisonment.
“A person guilty of an offense under this section is liable upon conviction to imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than ten years but which may be enhanced to imprisonment for life.”
But apart from being charged in normal courts KDF officers can be charged in a court martial if suspected to have brought the integrity of the force to test.
According to the Armed Forces Act officers can even be charged on offenses such as drunkenness.
“Any person subject to this Act who is drunk, whether on duty or not, shall be guilty of an offense and liable, on conviction by court martial, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or any less punishment provided by this Act,” the Act says in Article 36(1).
“For the purposes of this section, a person is drunk if owing to the influence of alcohol or any drug, whether alone or in combination with any other circumstances, he is unfit to be entrusted with his duty or with any duty which he may be called upon to perform, or behaves in a disorderly manner or in a manner likely to bring discredit to the armed forces,” the Article further states.
“shall be guilty of an offense and liable, on conviction by (a) court martial, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or any less punishment provided by this Act.”
However it has not been stated whether Akello’s case will also be heard in a court martial.