Case Against Maseno Students Causes Fracas Outside Court

There was a two-hour drama in a Kisumu court Wednesday when a case filed by 26 students of Maseno University students against the institution failed to start.

The students were suspended by the institution last week and had turned up for the hearing of a their case.

The students kept shouting at a court officer, demanding that their case be heard, before being reprimanded and ordered to take their seats in court.

Drama started when the students were told by the court clerk that theirs was not among matters that Judge Esther Maina would be hearing.

The students, who were represented by lawyer Tom Adiso, were led by suspended Student Organisation of Maseno University (Somu) president Charles Juma.

The angry students were also accompanied by the union secretary-general Fred Makajos, who is also suspended.

The students, who had at 9 am been asked by their lawyer to wait for their case at 2 pm, found themselves alone in court.

When the court officer left the chamber with the files and summoned the lawyers to the judges’ chamber, there were murmurs among the students who wondered why, at a quarter past three in the evening, their case was not starting.

“May be you have been bribed and that is why you are taking us in circles,” one of them was heard shouting.

In their application last week Friday, the 26 students asked the court to give an injunction on summonses for them to appear before a disciplinary committee in the university before the case is heard.

Through Mr Adiso, the students argue that their suspension was illegal and not procedural.

In the summonses to appear before the university disciplinary committee on June 5, the students have been asked to answer to five charges.

They are accused of infringing on the rights of staff and students, causing malicious damage to property, forceful extortion of money and theft of property.

They are also accused incitement and holding unlawful demonstrations.

The students are also accused of using profane or abusive language against staff and students and violation of sanctions imposed by the university.

“Following your suspension by a letter dated May 13, you are required to appear before the Student Disciplinary Committee on June 4, 2015 in the university boardroom, Siriba campus,” says the summons letter seen by Nation.

After the drama, Mr Adiso was adamant that the hearing was supposed to be on Wednesday May 27.

“Here is the notice of motion signed and received by Maseno University lawyers Otieno Ragot & Company Advocates,” said Mr Adiso outside the court.

The students were later asked to appear for hearing on June 3, 2015.

Courtesy of Nation Media Group.

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