Lawyer Blames Courts for Former Nairobi Town Clerk John Gakuo's Death

  • A lawyer who represented former Nairobi town clerk John Gakuo has blamed the courts for the former government official's death.

    Speaking to Daily Nation, lawyer Assa Nyakundi revealed that he had been preparing the former ton clerk for a court appearance before he passed away on Tuesday.

    Nyakundi conveyed that it was Gakuo's wish, even to his death, that the country would realize he was not a criminal as the court had ruled.

    "I was coming to see him so we could do final preparations for tomorrow [Wednesday]. He was looking forward to letting the country know that the John Gakuo who was in prison is actually not a criminal.

    "We were going to demonstrate to the court that John Gakuo did not deserve to be convicted," Nyakundi relayed.

    Nyakundi urged judges to take issues raised by lawyers concerning their clients' medical conditions to avoid instances of death while in custody.

    The lawyer indicated that Gakuo's legal team had pleaded with the judge to release him stating that he was suffering from high blood pressure, hypertension, chest pains and had been in and out of hospital due to frailty.

    "Unfortunately the judge did not think his medical conditions were compelling enough to have him released.

    "He did not think, at that point, we had demonstrated to him that there was no point in holding him in jail; that he needed to be released.

    "I know from my experience as a lawyer that medical issues can provide exceptional circumstances in which a person can be released from jail pending the hearing of the appeal." the lawyer noted.

    The former ton clerk died on Tuesday while receiving treatment at the Mbagathi Hospital after he fell ill while serving a three-year sentence at the Nairobi Remand Prison, Industrial Area.

    His co-accused Sammy Kirui, the former Local Government Permanent Secretary, is said to have been the first person who noticed the former town clerk was unwell.

    "He quickly informed an officer and Mr Gakuo was taken to Mbagathi Hospital where, unfortunately, he was pronounced dead," Nyakundi relayed. 

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