Charles Owino Explains Why Anti-Terror Police Are Deployed to Arrest Kenyans

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    ATPU officer arrested a terror suspect at Likoni Channel, Mombasa on Monday, August 23, 2021
  • Former Police Spokesperson Charles Owino has explained circumstances under which officers from the Anti-Terrorism Police Unit (ATPU) are deployed to arrest Kenyans.

    Appearing on TV on Tuesday, January 18, Owino revealed that the deployment of the special units is determined by the mode of arrest and the preparedness of the person to be arrested.

    Owino had been asked to explain why a police unit specialised in investigating terrorism is often deployed to arrest Kenyans facing unrelated terror cases as in the case of businessman Jimi Wanjigi.

    Charles Owino
    Former Police Spokesperson Charles Owino

    Prior to his arrest, a contingent of armed ATPU officers raided the office of Wanjigi who was accused of land fraud.

    In his response, Owino explained that in some circumstances, ordinary officers do not have the relevant equipment that can successfully carry out the operation.

    “It depends on the mode of arrest and the kind of preparedness of the person you are going to arrest. 

    “There could be a particular individual that you may not be able to arrest using the ordinary police officers because they may not be having equipment to do that,” he explained.

    Additionally, he explained most of the time the officers will be forced to break into somebody’s premises if they fail to surrender as requested.

    “The mode of entry into somebody's building depends. Was he requested and he refused or do we have justifiable circumstances when the police may be forced for the door to be opened,” he stated.

    Before Wanjigi's arrest, ATPU officers were filmed breaking into his Kwacha Group offices in Westlands, Nairobi County.

    When queried particularly on the case of Wangigi, Owino stated that he could not delve much information on his arrest as he was no longer the spoke person of the police.

    However, he stated that the businessman was well known to the police and has had past run-ins with law enforcement agencies.

    "Remember this is not the first time the police are dealing with Wanjigi. The police have dealt with him before," he stated.

    Among other prominent Kenyans who have been arrested by the special unit include Former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko.

    Businessman Jimi Wanjigi and his wife Irene Nzisa at their Muthaiga home on October 19, 2017.
    Businessman Jimi Wanjigi and his wife Irene Nzisa at their Muthaiga home on October 19, 2017.
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