Policeman who shot and killed student jailed for 20 years

On September 25, 2014, Corporal Edward Wanyonyi Makokha walked into a kiosk in Benane town, Garissa County, Kenya and grabbed a mobile phone from a Form Four student.

The student, Ibrahim Hassan Shid, followed the officer and demanded to be given his phone back.

Without any provocation and at close range, the officer shot him on the chin and thigh, before firing the third round in the air and escaping from the scene.

At the patrol base, Corporal Makokha told his colleagues that he had been attacked by schoolboys and that he had shot one of them dead.

Shid was to sit his Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education exams in a month’s time and had hoped to join college.

The Independent Policing Oversight Authority (Ipoa) launched investigations and forwarded the file to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) with the recommendation that a case of causing grievous harm to the student which had been filed by the police be withdrawn in favour of the attempted murder case.

The DPP concurred with Ipoa and on October 29, 2015, the officer was charged in court.

Twelve witnesses including 4 police officers testified in the case.

Among the exhibits presented before the Garissa Law Courts were two spent cartridges that were collected at the scene of the shooting and a bullet head was retrieved from the student’s thigh bone.

The gun, an AK47 rifle which the officer had been issued with, was also subjected to a ballistic examination.

The analysis confirmed that the firearm was the one that had been used to fire.

Detectives also confirmed that prior to the shooting, the same firearm had officially been issued to the officer while loaded with 30 rounds of ammunition.

It was confiscated less three rounds of ammunition, corroborating the witnesses’ accounts that they heard three gunshots.

The court has now found him guilty and jailed him for 20 years.