Media reports on Tuesday, February 18, indicate that Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi chose to step aside after DPP Noordin Haji raised concerns about the ruling that saw Owino released on controversial bail terms.
The reports further indicate that Magistrate Bernard Ochoi is set to take over when the case is mentioned in court on March 2.
Andayi courted controversy when on January 27, 2020, he ruled that Owino should be released on a Ksh10 million bail to secure his release.
Milimani Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi during a court sitting.
Of the entire sum, Babu was required to make a deposit of a Ksh2.5 million in order to secure his release while the remaining amount would be paid in Ksh 2.5 million installments in the three following months.
Andayi also ruled that the money that Owino would deposit in court would be used to settle the medical bills of Felix Orinda aka DJ Evolve; the man Babu Owino is accused of shooting on the neck.
The bail terms stirred controversy amongst those in legal circles who questioned the criteria that the magistrate had used to grant Owino temporary respite.
DPP Noordin Haji on February 2, indicated that he had written to the Judicial Service Commission to challenge the ruling by Andayi.
“I have never heard, first of all, of bail terms that you are asked to pay in installments, and then secondly, my understanding is that once you pay bail, it goes to the ex-checker. So how will we be able to access the money to go and pay for the injured party?” DPP Haji asked the Standard in an interview.
Former Chief Justice Willy Mutunga also weighed in on the decision by Andayi and insisted that there was no law that called for a suspect to post cash bail which would be used to offset a victim’s medical bill.
He stated that the ruling had put the Judiciary on the spot and could erode confidence in the eyes of the public.
Babu Owino is facing charges of attempted murder after a video showing a man alleged to be him drawing a gun and firing in a Nairobi club.
Felix Orinda alias DJ Evolve (pictured) was allegedly shot by Babu Owino after an altercation in a night club on January 17, 2020.
The victim is still in hospital recuperating.