From Whiskey River to B-Club, are lounges now houses of terror?

They are said to have been conducting surveillance of the club [Photo: Shutterstock]

Five terror suspects are still in police custody following their arrest at Whiskey River, one of the luxury lounges on Kiambu Road.

The suspects, Mohamed Abas Mohamud, a USA citizen, Mohamed Hassan Bario, Hodan Abdi Ismail and Ifrah Mohammed Abshir from Somalia and Mohamed Adan, a Kenyan driver, are said to have been conducting surveillance of the club.

Police recovered a Kenya Air Force trouser, a jungle green T-shirt and hat, cheques, cash and a laptop.

As that was happening, the big showbiz story in town was unfolding. Felix Orinda aka DJ Evolve was shot at B Club on Galana Road and Embakasi East MP Paul Ongili aka Babu Owino had been arrested.

The MP was alleged to have been involved in the incident and was arraigned on Monday before being remanded for seven days’ pending preparation of the bail report by the probation team at the Milimani law courts – that after pleading not guilty to the shooting.

READ ALSO: DJ Evolve: Meet man ‘accidentally shot’ by Babu Owino

While appearing before Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi, the charge sheet read that he ‘unlawfully attempted to try to cause the death of Felix Orinda by shooting him on the neck’.

The Chief Magistrate rejected pleas by defence lawyer Danstan Omari to have Babu remanded at Gigiri Police Station noting that he had to be remanded at a remand prison. The case will be mentioned on January 27.

A peaceful demonstration by Kenyan DJs was organized [Photo: Shutterstock]

Come Tuesday, a peaceful demonstration by Kenyan DJs and the wider entertainment fraternity was organised in Nairobi with the rallying call ‘No Guns in Our Clubs’ They made a strong call to have ‘Justice for DJ Evolve’.

A 7 am CCTV footage said to have been sourced from the crime scene aggravated the situation. A group of people is seen in the club enjoying shisha.

Then after engaging in a conversation, one man is seen casually whipping out his pistol, firing at the man who was talking to him before relaxing, shisha pipe in hand and an unperturbed lady seated next to him.

This footage showed a completely different picture from the MP’s claim, one reiterated by lawyer on camera that the legislator was acting in self-defence after being surrounded by an aggressive group of people.

The authenticity of the video, however, is yet to be confirmed.  After the shooting DJ Evolve was rushed to Nairobi Hospital where a bullet that had been lodged in his neck was removed. His state was reportedly ‘critical, but stable’.

On Saturday, officers from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations recovered a firearm believed to have been used by Babu Owino.

“Detectives have managed to recover the firearm that is suspected to have been used by Hon Babu Owino at the B Club shooting incident,” DCI reported on its Twitter page.

“Nine rounds of ammunition and a spent cartridge have also been recovered and placed as exhibit awaiting analysis by ballistic experts,” the message went on.

It also evokes questions on laws governing small firearms as well as the security laws [Photo: Shutterstock]

These two incidents do reignite worrying memories of guns in the club and insecurity issues that have seen people die in local entertainment joints.

It also evokes questions on laws governing small firearms as well as the security laws that apply to club bouncers and general security. Is anyone allowed to have a firearm in the club and if not, how did this gun find its way into B Club.

Where was the security team? Why was there a compromise, such a risk that almost resulted in death?

READ ALSO: 'Loaded' celebs armed with illegal weapons

As in the case of Whiskey River, what would have been the repercussion if the said planned terror act was actually accomplished?

With thousands in the club, how many people would have survived what would be a deadly attack? What could bouncers and the Whiskey River security network have done to stop the suspected terrorist from executing their mission?

For some time now, Nairobi party joints have turned to death traps for patrons. From kidnappings, club drugging, rape, violent robberies and mystery deaths, young party-goers are falling victim to unsuspected evil men and women on the prowl.

And as much as clubs and other party joints are highly associated with brawls, most of which are basically provoked by intoxication, it is becoming a major concern how people carry firearms to the club.

Party joints are highly associated with brawls [Photo: Shutterstock]

“In addition to the long working hours DJs are subjected to pay that is often not commensurate to these hours, and now gun-wielding revellers; guns in public places of entertainment create yet another occupational hazard,” said Jacqueline Mugo aka DJ Shock Africa, the founder of Association of Disc Jockeys East Africa during a meeting on safer workplaces.

There was later a press conference by Amnesty International and a group of DJs involved in ‘No Guns in Our Clubs’ drive.

Under the umbrella body ‘DJ4Justice Initiative, the turn-tablists have been demanding for safer work places not just for entertainment practitioners, but also clients who frequent those places.

They argue that artistes and revellers should not be subjected to an environment where guns are freely on display.

READ ALSO: Dancing with guns: Revealed: How club bouncers expose you to risk by letting in people with guns, weapons

“We support the DJs as they demand clubs be gun-free spaces. When we go to nightclubs, we do not expect to be shot. Gun violence doesn’t discriminate when a gun is discharged in a public place. It poses a risk not only to the intended target, but anyone within the vicinity,” Amnesty International Kenya Executive Director Irungu Houghton said during the press conference.

There are many echoes on this from the past. Barely three years ago, a Nairobi club owner was sentenced to five years in prison following yet another shooting that took place at Club Click along Baricho Road.

The deceased, Kelvin Onyango, had gone to party at the club in the company of his friend when a disagreement ensued between him and the club owner Jackson Maina Wangui.

According to witnesses and other police reports, the confrontation started on the second floor of the club before bouncers, in the company of Maina, took Onyango to the fourth floor where he was shot in the head at point-blank range.

Maina caused the death of Onyango by shooting him on the roof top of his club [Photo: Shutterstock]

Justice Stella Mutuku ruled that Maina caused the death of Onyango by shooting him on the rooftop of his club. Maina was able to escape the death sentence after the judge found him guilty of manslaughter instead of murder.

“I have considered the evidence and mitigation tendered by the accused and come to the conclusion that he must pay for his acts. I, therefore, sentence him to five years’ imprisonment,” ruled Mutuku.

The judge ascertained that Maina had indeed pulled the trigger, but had no intention of killing the patron hence did not warrant a conviction of murder, that after upholding submissions by police investigator John Shegu that ‘the bar owner was careless for going to a club with a loaded gun knowing he could have found people who were drunk and disorderly’.

She went ahead to conclude that the accused Maina never cared about the life of the man he killed as he never bothered to ‘call for an ambulance or take him to the hospital if the shooting was really a mistake’.

“After shooting, he left the deceased and went to report to the police. He did not take him to the hospital, did not call an ambulance or help. That was reckless, which shows he did not care about the life of the person he killed,” she ruled.

Another killing happened at a Hurlingham Club, a mystery incidence whose details seems to have been compromised. At the same time, a university girl was kidnapped from a Nairobi city centre club and driven to Ngong’ Hills where she was raped and left for dead.

The most popular case is probably the murder sentence of a police inspector and a businessman who were sentenced to death for killing the son of former assistant minister Patrick Muiruri.

The two, Inspector Dickson Munene and Alex Chepkonga, were found guilty of the 2009 murder, but the judge had put the sentencing on hold to give the State time to prepare a victim-impact statement from the family of Muiruri, the former Gatundu North MP.

Ng’ang’a was shot dead several metres down the road [Photo: Shutterstock]

It all started at Crooked-Q Club in Westlands, Nairobi. James Ng’ang’a, a law lecturer in the UK, was shot three times at dawn on January 24, 2009, following a brawl at the popular night joint.

The young Ng’ang’a was in Kenya for vacation and had been drinking the night away in the company of his brother John Gachera and a lady friend named Jedidah Ahawa.

Chepkonga was in the company of Munene and four other unidentified men. The two groups of youthful revellers had a verbal showdown prompting the club security guards to throw them out of the venue.

They left and drove away in four cars. Ng’ang’a was shot dead several metres down the road.

During the judgment, the court was convinced that the death was as a result of gunshots fired by Munene using a pistol officially issued to him.

“I don’t think firearms should be carried to the clubs. However, laxity on security issues in most clubs has led to the whole mess. Rarely will the bouncers stop or detect someone carrying a gun into the club,” DNG of 254 Entertainment told Pulse.

“There are so many young people licensed to carry firearms. Most are from prominent families. Some are immature and only carry guns to the club to show off. They are the same guys who will go-ahead to draw a gun after they differ with their friends over a girl,” he added.

“Besides, the abuse and misuse of licensed guns, it is even frightening to come to terms with the fact that many young people are in possession of illegal firearms, most of which are used in robbery incidents around packed entertainment streets.”

 

 


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