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Eight students detained over Kilifi school arson attack

Eight students who were arrested following a fire incident at Godoma Boys Secondary School in Kilifi, which claimed the life of a form two student will be detained for 14 days.

The Kilifi court allowed police to detain the students who were arrested after the Monday 4am arson incident at the school. They will be held at Bamba police station pending investigations on murder charges.

The students set ablaze a 110-capacity dormitory, where Fadhil Hassan, 17, lost his life while trapped inside. He was laid to rest on Tuesday at the Jomvu Muslim cemetery in Mombasa County.

The eight were arraigned before Kilifi Senior Resident Magistrate Justus Kituku on Wednesday.

According to the investigating Officer, Corporal Humphrey Bunyasi from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) in Kilifi, the students, together with others not before the court, will face murder charges.

The investigating officer said the students were arrested on October 9 and due to the technicalities involved, they cannot complete the investigations within 24 hours as required by law.

Mr Bunyasi said the case was reported at Bamba police station OB/3/9/10/2023.

He said they needed time to record witness statements from teachers, students, and the security guards.

The file will be submitted to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution for perusal and advice.

The late Fadhil was in the dormitory as other students left for their morning preps when the incident occurred.

Earlier, Kilifi County Commissioner Mr Josephat Biwott said investigations were underway to establish why the boy was inside the dormitory whose exit was locked from outside.

Sources close to the investigations told Nation that notes were found in the school’s suggestion box indicating some form four students had demanded to be allowed to go home for their parents’ blessings before sitting for the KCSE examinations.

It emerged that, after the incident, teachers assembled the students, and after a roll call, they found that three students were missing; two form ones and a form two student.

They contacted their parents, and two confirmed their children had arrived home safely. It prompted the security team and teachers to search for the third student and the body was discovered in the burnt dorm.

The County Commissioner stated that for the past week, schools have recorded unrest, with Ganze being the worst-affected in Kilifi County.

He cited Ganze Boys secondary school, where the students went on strike three times within one month.

“We are carrying out investigations because that is a very serious incident which we have never seen in this county for a very long time. We want to know why students have suddenly started having strikes in their schools,” said Mr Biwott.

Students at Ganze Girls secondary school, Bandari and Bale, also went on strike.

 

mongala@ke.nationmedia.com

 

 

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