DPP orders arrest of six cops over killing of Embu brothers

Tuesday, August 17th, 2021 00:00 |
The burial ceremony at Kianjokoma Primary School of the two Embu brothers who died while in police custody. Photo/Courtesy

Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji yesterday directed the Inspector General of Police to arrest all the six officers suspected to have been involved in the murder of two brothers in Embu on the night of August 1.

Haji said based on the preliminary reports by the Internal Affairs Unit (IAU), the action was to ensure the officers did not interfere with evidence or intimidate witnesses. As a result, he directed that they be charged in Nairobi, and not Embu.

“I have directed the IG to immediately arrest and arraign in court, in Nairobi, all officers involved pending investigations by Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) to avoid any interference with evidence and or intimidation of witnesses,” he said.

Haji condemned the killings, which he said not only attracted considerable public anger but  equally drawn the attention of the ODPP. 

“Internal Affairs Unit had launched their own inquiries into the possible culpability of the officers and the IG has forwarded to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) a file of preliminary findings that is under urgent scrutiny and review,” Haji said.

Preliminary findings indicate that six police officers attached to Manyatta Police Station could have been involved in the brutal attack of the two.

The IAU yesterday submitted the investigations file to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution with recommendation that the six officers –two Corporals and four Constables -be held responsible for the murder of Benson Ndwiga, 22 and Emmanuel Mutura, 19. 

Benson Ndigwa and Emmanuel Mutura. They were laid to rest on Friday.  Photo/Courtesy

Before he issued the arrest order, Haji had earlier yesterday directed the Inspector of Police Hillary Mutyambai to immediately interdict the officers as his office peruses the file for appropriate action.

“The file has been forwarded to the DPP for action. Meanwhile, all the officers have been suspended with immediate effect to pave way for prosecution,” Mutyambai said yesterday.

Mutyambai also said that the matter was being investigated by several agencies to ensure that justice is served.

“Even the DCI is fully involved in this matter. It is a multi-agency team effort to ensure justice is served,” he said.

Moving vehicle

Officers had claimed that the two jumped out of a moving police vehicle along Kiriare-Buvori road and that they only noticed their absence when they reached the station.

The bodies were found about 35 metres apart. The vehicle, according to the probe, was driven by Constable James Mwaniki.

“The vehicle proceeded to Karau and later to Manyatta Police Station and after headcount it was realised that two prisoners were missing.

Search was conducted and the bodies of the two were found at the scene,” the officers wrote in a brief to police headquarters.

A probe, however, established that the two were actually driven up to the police station where other suspects were ordered to alight before the officers drove away with them to an unknown destination.

One of the witnesses who recorded a statement said Mutura was the first to be arrested.

The officers started assaulting him, prompting his elder brother Ndwiga to rush for his rescue, according to the witness. The officers had hit him on the head and was lying unconscious. 

One officer then hit Ndwiga and he fell on the ground. Later, upon arrival at the station, the police vehicle was parked near the cells where other suspects were ordered to alight.

The two, however, remained in the vehicle. Another independent probe is also being conducted by the Independent Policing Oversight Authority,  which is  expected to finalise its investigations this week.

Several people

Immediately after the killing, Mutyambai transferred the Embu North OCPD Emily Ngaruiya and the Manyatta OCS.

There has been an increase in cases of extortion and brutality, especially by officers enforcing curfew orders.

Several people have either been killed or seriously injured by officers with the youngest being Yassin Moyo aged 13.

Several officers have also been charged with murder of innocent Kenyans during the same period. 

Last month, a Nairobi court also ordered that a police officer, who killed a butcher six years ago be charged with murder, following an inquest.

Milimani Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi ordered Constable David Rono be prosecuted for killing Nura Molu at the Kiamaiko goat market on April 20, 2015.

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