Comedian Eric Omondi and his “Wife Material” show cast were on Friday morning released from Central Police Station in Nairobi on a police bond after spending the night in custody.
Omondi and his crew members were all freed on Sh50,000 police bond but will appear in court on Thursday, March 18, to face charges over alleged production of explicit content not authorised by the Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB).
The comedian and his cast risk spending years in jail after his arrest on Thursday by detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) over his controversial “Wife Material” show.
Nairobi Central Division Commander, Mark Wanjala, confirmed Omondi’s release from their custody on a Sh50,000 bond.
“Eric Omondi and 15 other people who were arrested on Thursday have been released on a police bond of Sh50,000 each and ordered to appear in court on Thursday, March 18, 2020,” he said.
KFCB boss Ezekiel Mutua said he had ordered their arrest for violating provisions of the Films and Stage Plays Act Cap 222 of the Laws of Kenya.
According to Mutua, Omondi, who runs the “Wife Material” show on his YouTube channel, as well as Facebook and Instagram pages, has not submitted the said-content for classification by the Board.
Speaking to Nairobi News, Dr Mutua said Omondi was arrested for violating the provisions of the Films and Stage Plays Act by producing and distributing unauthorised films and could face up to five years in jail, a fine of Sh200,000 or both.
“Cap 222 of the Laws of Kenya states that no person shall exhibit any film at an exhibition to which the public are admitted or distribute such film unless he is registered as an exhibitor or distributor by the Board and issued with a certificate,” he said.
According to Dr Mutua, the board is waiting for police to compile the charges which might range from exhibiting pornographic, illegal entry of aliens, disturbance to luring of girls.
“When you look at his show, this man (Eric Omondi) lies to these girls and performs a mock wedding in the name of a show. These girls who have come from other countries must have permission to film in the country and since his first show, he has not applied for any licence. We will know more about his charges when he is arraigned in court on Friday,” he added.
On Friday morning, the KFCB boss took to his social media to inform the public that his directive for the arrest and charging of Omondi is not meant to stifle creativity.
“The war is not against artistes or the youth. It’s against dirty content. The intention is not to harass artistes or stifle creativity. The idea is to promote clean content and protect children against exposure to adult content!” clarified Dr Mutua.
His arrest comes months after the KFCB CEO boss popularly known as the ‘moral cop’ warned Omondi to desist from producing explicit content which was not authorised by the board.
The arrest comes a day after the comedian unveiled season two of “Wife Material” contestants where during the unveiling in a Nairobi club two contestants were involved in a physical fight.
In the video clip which the comedian shared on social media, contestants from Tanzania led by singer Gigy Money and Sumaiyah are seen throwing things around and fighting Kyler Jeycman, who was seated next to him to an extent of forcing police officers and stewards at the club to intervene.