Jackson Njeru was yesterday released from prison after serving his five days sentence.
He was supposed to, in addition to serving five days, pay a fine of sh100, 000 which he declined to pay. He was then to serve for ten days but the magistrate court did not give these extra orders.
Njeru was serving sentence for contempt of court when he commented on an ongoing case with prominent lawyer Cecil Miller. Njeru posted on Buyer Beware Facebook Group which he is an administrator on 31st March 2016 where he solicited sh140, 000 from members to remove Jacqueline Ogutu from Prison where she had been sentenced. She has been imprisoned using the now unconstitutional charge Section 29 of the Kenya Information and Communications (Amendment) Act 2013, misuse of licensed telecommunications equipment.
In his message, Njeru asked members to help with fundraising the money in order to release her. He managed to raise the money which was fine in three days and she was released from the Lang’ata Women’s Prison. However, the court had barred him from commenting on the case.
Yesterday, the Industrial Area Prison officers released him stating that it would be illegal to continue holding him without requisite orders from Justice H.M. Mbati. He presented himself on Monday 14th January, 2016 after the prison facilities.
Jackson Njeru still has one pending contempt of court charge by the same complainant Cecil Guyana Miller. Miller sued him after he was imprisoned early in the year for comments he made before he was incarcerated where he argued that he disrespected the court.
In addition, he also has a pending criminal defamation charge against Cecil Miller. After Section 29 of the Kenya Information and Communications Act (KICA) was declared unconstitutional, Miller moved to section 194 of the Penal Code. The cases come up for mentions in December.
The section reads
Any person who, by print, writing, painting or effigy, or by any means otherwise than solely by gestures, spoken words or other sounds, unlawfully publishes any defamatory matter concerning another person, with intent to defame that other person, is guilty of the misdemeanour termed libel.