1.The appellant herein, Bernard Lepartanapa, was convicted after trial in counts III and IV of being in possession of a firearm and ammunition respectively contrary to section 89(1) of the Penal Code. It was alleged that between 25th and October 26, 2017 at Loborangari area in Losuuk Location in Samburu–Central County within Samburu County, he was found in possession of, respectively, a firearm namely AK 47 rifle Serial No 2527906 and twenty-three (23) rounds of 7.62 x 39 special calibre ammunition, “without a firearm certificate”. The charges in counts I and II (robbery with violence contrary to section 296(2) and stealing stock respectively contrary to section 278, both of the Penal Code) were withdrawn.
2.On May 7, 2020 the appellant was sentenced to seven (7) years imprisonment in each count, the sentences to run concurrently. Although he appealed against both conviction and sentence, at the hearing of the appeal he chose to argue only the appeal against sentence. Nonetheless this court has chosen to look at the convictions as well.
3.The particulars of the offence as laid in counts III and IV clearly disclose offences under section 4 of the Firearms Act, cap 114. They do not disclose at all the offences charged under section 89(1) of the Penal Code. That provision of the law states –
4.As the particulars of the offences in counts III and IV did not disclose the offences charges at all, the trial of the appellant should not have proceeded without appropriate amendment to the charge, and he certainly should not have been convicted without such amendment of the charge. The charges in counts III and IV were thus fatally defective. This court will not allow the convictions to stand.
5.In the result I will allow the appellant’s appeal in its entirety. Both convictions are hereby quashed and the sentences set aside. The appellant shall be set at liberty forthwith unless otherwise lawfully held. It is so ordered.