Standard Group Ordered To Pay Ex-Cop Sh 6.5 Million In damages Over Viral Photo

Nairobi High Court has awarded former police officer Linda Okello Ksh.6.5 million in damages in a case in which she sued the Standard Media Group over a photo published in 2014.

Ms Okello sued the media company, its sister publication The Nairobian, and two of its journalists for publishing a side profile photo of a policewoman on duty in a tight skirt.

She accused the media house, through her lawyer Tom Ojienda, of demeaning her by improperly publishing her image, as well as using her image for commercial benefit and possibly notoriety.

In a ruling, Justice Asenath Ongeri ordered Standard Group, The Nairobian newspaper, Pkemoi Ngenoh and Charles Otieno to pay Okello Ksh.6.5 million for defamation.

“Judgment be and is hereby entered in favour of the plaintiff against the defendants jointly and severally in the sum of Kshs. Six million, five hundred thousand shillings (6,500,000) together with costs of this suit and interest at court rates from the date of this judgment until payment in full,” court papers read.

Okello’s photo sparked debate on social media at the time, with Kenyans debating the appropriateness of her attire. She was also the topic of memes that were widely shared on the internet.

In 2016, the then-corporal was demoted to constable after being accused of bribery during a crackdown on bribe-taking police officers in Kiambu County.

As a result, Okello filed a lawsuit against then-police Inspector General Joseph Boinnet for unlawful demotion. She stated she was never given the chance to respond.