10.Section 123(A) of the CPC sets out exceptions to the right to bail or bond. The provision was brought on board with a view to align theCPC with the Constitution. It provides that: -
11.The rationale behind bail or bond in Kenya is premised on the constitutional imperative under Article 50(2)(a) of the Constitution that an accused is presumed innocent until the contrary is proved.
12.In bail or bond applications, therefore, the primary consideration must always be the ability of the accused to attend trial. The only exception remains where compelling reasons are demonstrated. Ibrahim, J (as he then was) in Republic v Danson Mgunya & Another  eKLR described the right to bail as an “inalienable right” by holding that;
13.Therefore, in granting bail or bond, the trial court is called upon to exercise its discretion and, if there are no compelling reasons to deny an accused bail or bond, the trial court should exercise its discretion in favour of the accused.
14.Both the Constitution and the CPC do not define what ‘compelling reasons’ are.
15.But what does the term ‘compelling reasons’ mean?
16.The term has been used in other jurisdictions to mean ‘exceptional circumstances’ or ‘unusual’ and ‘extraordinary circumstances’. Having gone through various statutes, scholarly writings and decisions within and outside our jurisdiction, it appears that the term ‘compelling reasons’ (or as the case may be) is not settled and may include a rubric of circumstances.
17.The 10th Edition, Black’s Law Dictionary defines ‘extraordinary’ as “beyond what is usual, customary, regular or common”. It also defines ‘a circumstance’ as “an accompanying or accessory fact, event or condition such as a piece of evidence that indicates the probability of an event”. The dictionary goes ahead to define “extraordinary circumstance” as “a highly unusual set of facts that are not commonly associated with a particular thing or event.”
18.In Kenya, Courts have, as well, dealt with the issue. In Republic v Joktan Mayende & 3 Others  eKLR, Mohamed Abdurrahman Said & Another v Republic  eKLR, Wilson Thirimba v DPP  eKLR, among others, the Courts reverted to the meaning of the word ‘compelling’ as defined in the Concise Oxford Dictionary, 9th Edition which is defined as ‘rousing, strong, interest, attention, conviction or admiration’.
19.Admitting the challenge in the term ‘exceptional circumstances’, the Constitutional Court of South Africa in Liesching and Others v S (CCT304/16)  ZACC 25; 2018 (11) BCLR 1349 (CC); 2019 (1) SACR 178 (CC) (29 August 2018) quoted with approval the definition in S v Petersen 2008 (2) SACR 355 (C) and had this to say: -
20.Defining the term further, the South African Court in S v Bruintjies 2003 (2) SACR 575 (SCA) had the following to say: -
21.Still on the South Africa jurisprudence, in S v Rudolph 2010 (1) SACR 262 (SCA) at 266 g-h, the Court dealt with what exceptional circumstance are and reiterated that the Applicant in bail application must, on a balance of probability, demonstrate that “exceptional circumstances” in his or her case, indeed, do exist and that they “in the interests of justice permit his release”. This, according to the Court, involves the balancing” between the liberty interests of the accused and the interests of which”, society in denying the accused bail, will be resolved in favour of the denial of bail, unless “exceptional circumstance” are shown by the accused to exist”.
22.And, in Antonio Jacobie Snyders v The State (A455/2015) 2015 ZAGPPHC 618, the High Court in South Africa dismissed an appeal against denial of bail on the basis of the fact that the community was up in arms as it found it necessary to voice its opinion regarding the conduct of the Appellant. The Appellant’s concessions relating to his safety meant that it would not be wise to release the Appellant on bail. Indeed, the Appellant conceded that the community would not accept him back with open arms and that there existed some enmity between him and the community.
23.Given the amorphous nature of the term ‘compelling reasons’ or ‘exceptional circumstances’, a Court while exercising its discretion in dealing with a bail and bond application must ‘consider all relevant factors and determine whether individually or cumulatively they warrant a finding that circumstances of an exceptional nature exist which justify his or her release’ and must also balance “between the liberty interests of the accused and the interests of which”, society in denying the accused bail, will be resolved in favour of the denial of bail, unless “exceptional circumstance” are shown….”. In Kenya those ‘compelling reasons’ or ‘exceptional circumstances’ must be demonstrated by the prosecution.
24.In delineating the parameters of ‘compelling reasons’ and ‘exceptional circumstances’ and remaining alive to the provisions of Section 123(A) of the CPC, the High Court in Republic v Pascal Ochieng Lawrence  eKLR stated as under: -
26.The prosecution’s contention in this matter is twofold. First, that the Accused was a flight-risk in that he is likely to flee as he did on commission of the offence, and, second, that the Accused will interfere with witnesses upon release.
27.In dealing with this matter, this Court should not lose sight of the fact that the right to bail or bond is one of those rights under the Bill of Rights whose enforcement is aimed at preserving the dignity of individuals and communities, the promotion of social justice and the realisation of the potential of all human beings.
28.Having said as much, this Court now turns to a consideration of the grounds tendered in opposition to the application.
29.On the ground that the Accused was a flight-risk, it is not in doubt that the Accused disappeared for a period of 6 months immediately the offence was committed. The Accused did not account for that period. Therefore, the possibility of him absconding is not far-fetched.
30.On the interference with witnesses, this Court finds that the State did not tender any evidence in support of the contention. The fact that the witnesses are related to the accused cannot be a measure of imputing interference. There has to be demonstrated real likelihood on the alleged interference. As such, the ground fails.
31.Having carefully considered this matter and in light of the in-depth analysis of the Constitution, the law and various decisions, this Court finds in light of Article 49(1)(h) of the Constitution and Section 123A(2)(b) of the CPC, there is a compelling reason in this case such that admitting the accused to bail or bond at this point in time will be prejudicial to the trial. The compelling reason is the possibility of the Accused absconding having previously done so.
32.It is on the basis of the above sole reason and in light of the unique circumstances of this case that this Court declines the application.
33.Consequently, the following orders do hereby issue: -a.The application seeking that the accused be admitted to bond and bail pending trial is hereby declined.b.The hearing of the case will, however, be expedited.
Those are the orders of this Court.