'Endowed' cop Linda Okello sues police for harrasment
04 June 2014, 19:52
Nairobi - Traffic police Corporal Linda Okello, who rose to fame over her apparent dress code whilst on duty is seeking a declaration that the disciplinary proceedings against her alleged untidy mode of dressing be dismissed.
In her suit papers Linda claims that she was subjected to an unfair, unreasonable, skewed, flawed and unlawful inquiry into an alleged offence against discipline which were described as ‘orderly proceedings’.
In the suit against the National Police Service Commission, Inspector General of Police and his deputy, the Kiambu County Traffic police based corporal claims she was charged with appearing on duty untidy in her clothing contrary to the National Police Service Act, 2011 yet none of her supervisors had ever made complains with regards to her dressing.
“The action was an intent of tormenting and embarrassing her as the purported disciplinary hearing proceedings were flawed, unprocedural, tainted with malice, illegality and had nothing to do with law or discipline,” said her lawyer from the firm of Tom Ojienda .
According to the lawyer, all the four witnesses failed to tender evidence that pointed to the default on her part or in support of the charges against her and instead exonerated her from any wrong doing.
She further claims that the complainant, Kiambu OCPD Stephen Ngetich was not present and did not send a representative officer on his absence to explain on the evidence of the alleged offence.
“Linda is just like any other Kenyan citizen and is entilted to the due process of law, the orderly proceeedings ought to have adhered to rules of natural justice in the manner it was conducted,” said her lawyer.
On the fateful day of April 27, Linda was on duty in Kiambu’s KCB where the National Rally Championship was being flagged off.
She was to be at the station for two days and had to report after a briefing which none of her supervisors raised any issue regarding her uniform.
The following day April 28, she was notified by her friends about her picture on a local daily newspaper which resulted to her being summoned to present the worn skirt for inspection and defects after being booked at 4.00pm in the Occurence Book for disciplinary.
Linda alleges she complied with the summons and her skirt was declared to be inorder and a directive was made that she be given two new police pairs of trousers.
But the May 7 defaultive charge indicated that she appeared on duty “scantily dressed in police uniform” and was meant to appear before a Chief Inspector Mwarigha on April 30 who declined to proceed with the summon and disqualified himself on grounds that there was no cause of action warranting the disciplinary action.
The charge against her further stated that she was caught on camera wearing a tight skirt an act that caused hype, public debate in electronic, social and print media.
And on May 9, the orderly proceedings found no basis to giver her a verdict or ask her to defend herself but the presiding officer failed to dismiss the charge or acquit her as well as tell her when to expect it.
A decision she claims put her in an uncertainity and continued to violate her rights but was later directed to defend herself on May 26.
She claims she feared penalties would include being reprimanded, suspended, rank demotion or dismissal from the Police Service hence moved to court.
Although Industrial Court judge Lady Justice Maureen Onyango had on May 23 issued an order stopping the orderly proceedings which she however attended and is back on duty, she wants court to declare the decision to put her on defence was erroneous and unlawful.
She also wants court to quash the OB entry of Aprl 28, the defaulter charge sheet and the orderly proceedings besides the sued parties being barred form punishing her.
“I have been a Police Officer for the last 11 years, I have maintained a clear record with no discipline issues and the charge is only meant to cause embarrassment, humiliation, indignity, mental anguish which I endured ever since I was booked for disciplinary hearing, my only crime was to dress in police uniform issued to me by the Force Quatermaster in 2003 which l’ve always put on for two years without any supervisors raising an issue untill now, its worthy to note that the trousers are almost exact if not lesser dimensions as the skirt.” said Linda.
The case will be mentioned on June 11 for further directions on this declaration demand and whether the case will be withdrawn from court.
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