IG Koome sucked into battle over 120 police officers joining DCI

The High Court has certified as urgent a petition seeking to compel the Inspector General of Police, Mr Japhet Koome, to release 120 police officers to join the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) as specialist officers.

Justice Byram Ongaya also directed the petitioner, Mr Julius Ogogoh, to immediately serve the court papers on IG Koome and Attorney General Justin Muturi.

“I have considered the nature of the application by the purported chamber summons filed herein, considered formalities of an application like the instant one, and considered the material filed together with the application and certify the same as urgent to be served forthwith,” Justice Ongaya said.

The court ordered that the case be heard on May 23.

Mr Ogogoh is seeking leave to institute proceedings to compel the police boss to allow the officers to join the DCI Crime Research Intelligence Bureau as drivers.

The 120 officers are part of a team selected from the regular and Administration Police to join the DCI, but have been blocked allegedly because the Kenya Police Service is facing “an acute shortage of police drivers which is impacting negatively on policing services”.

“An order of mandamus to remove into this Honorable Court and compel the Respondents to forthwith order the immediate release of all 120 Kenya Police Service and Administration Police Service Officers to join the DCI Crime Research Intelligence Bureau (CRIB) as approved by the 3rd Respondent (Mr Koome) in a letter dated 29th day of April 2024,” Mr Ogogoh said in the petition.

The activist said that the DCI had advertised positions that would allow regular police and AP officers to join the DCI as specialised officers of the National Police Service.

As a result, a number of officers from the two police services applied and some were shortlisted for interview.

The shortlisted officers attended the interviews and 120 officers were successfully identified for absorption into the DCI, which essentially meant promotion in the service.

The officers were informed of the outcome of the interviews and Mr Koome approved the absorption and immediate release of all 120 officers into the DCI in a letter dated  April 29, 2024.

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Similarly, on May 7, the Regional Commander of the Eastern Region of the Police forwarded the Inspector General’s directive to his region, instructing the respective commanders to release all the officers concerned.

But on May 8, 2024, the Deputy Inspector General of Police sent a signal to all commanders where police drivers had been identified, instructing them to halt the redeployment of the said officers until further notice.

In the memo, the Deputy IG stated that the Kenya Police Service was facing an acute shortage of police drivers, which was affecting police services.

The activist wants IG Koome to act on the earlier release order.

“It is thus in the interest of justice as demonstrated hereinabove that we, the ex parte Applicants be granted leave to institute judicial review proceedings in the circumstance for certiorari and mandamus as pleaded in the pleadings herein,” Mr Ogogoh said in the petition.

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