During a court hearing, lawyer Dunstan Omari claimed that his client, popular comedian Erick Omondi, was shooting a script when he was arrested by the police. Omondi has been charged with creating a disturbance and was arrested on April 3, 2023, for staging demonstrations along Kenyatta Avenue, Nairobi, calling on the government to address the high cost of living.
Omari argued that the police have not understood the art of comedy, claiming that Omondi’s arrest demonstrates their cluelessness about the bigger picture the comedian is fighting for. Omari further explained that Omondi’s comedy highlights the plight of 55 million Kenyans who cannot afford meals, suffer from unemployment, and are helpless. He claims that Omondi is raising important concerns for the country.
The charge sheet states that the protest acted in a manner that could breach the peace of the public, and Omari responded by questioning the prescribed decibel level for noise under the law. He pointed out that discos, clubs, and louder speakers can be measured, but can human voices cause disturbance?
Omondi was released on a Sh5,000 cash bail and is expected to be back in court on April 13, 2023. This is not the first time Omondi has been arrested on similar alleged offenses. Omari argued that the court agreed that Omondi should not be treated the way the police are treating him, as he was released on a meagre Sh5,000 cash bail. Omari also highlighted that the total expenses for arresting Omondi, sustaining him in a police cell, and arraigning him in court could be up to Sh10 million.