Police officer based at Ruto’s office found dead in his house
A police officer attached to Deputy President William Ruto’s Harambee House Annex office was yesterday found dead in his Nairobi house in unclear circumstances.
The policeman, identified as Sergeant Frank Kipyegon Kenei, was one of the six officers who were being sought by the team of detectives investigating the fake Sh39 billion arms tender involving former Sports Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa. Police suspect foul play in the death.
The already decomposing body was discovered at around 3pm lying next to the door, with a bullet hole in his chin and his gun next to the body. Police said he may have been shot from the left side with the bullet exiting on the right side.
Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) boss George Kinoti, who visited the scene last evening, declined to comment.
“No comment for now. Let’s wait for investigations,” Kinoti told journalists.
The body was last evening moved to the City Mortuary.
According sources privy to the investigation, Kenei was the one who allowed Echesa and some foreigners to DP’s office and also escorted them to the well-guarded second floor on February 13 around 9.30am.
Another team from the DCI’s Special Services Unit (SSU) which had been tasked with tracking down Kenei were unable to track him because his mobile phones had been switched off for the last three days.
Nairobi Police commander Philip Ndolo confirmed that the officer was found dead in his house.
A team of detectives from the Homicide Department and the Crime Scene Services at the (DCI) headquarters yesterday visited the scene at Twiga Court, Villa Franca estate and conducted initial investigations. The bullet is said to have hit the chin and went through the neck before finally hitting the ceiling.
The mysterious death comes just a day after the DP Ruto, through his Chief of Staff Ken Osinde wrote to the Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai to all investigate his staff, including police officers who could have aided Echesa and his team access the building.
“Any officer in our establishment who will be found culpable should be arraigned in court the soonest possible,” he said.
Earlier, Kinoti speaking in Mombasa said his office is closing in on more suspects in connection with the probe.
He described the fake tender probe surrounding Echesa as a complex web of internationally organised fraudsters, saying a conclusive investigation to bust the entire network could take longer than expected.
Kinoti made the disclosure on a day reports emerged indicating that DP William Ruto had met senior staff in his office and warned them against divulging confidential information to his political adversaries.
Ruto, during the day-long meeting at his Karen office, reportedly gave the officers a tongue lashing, claiming that some of them were ‘moles’ working for ODM leader Raila Odinga and his other political competitors.
“He minced no words while warning that he would stop at nothing short of sacking those aimed at sabotaging him and scuttling his 2020 presidential bid,” said a source familiar with the meeting.
The DP is said to have expressed concern that sensitive documents and information were finding their way into the media.
At the same time, detectives probing the alleged military equipment scandal believe they have made a breakthrough after recovering several fake documents of government tenders and contracts in the offices of Chrispine Otieno Odipo.
The detectives stumbled on the documents on Wednesday when they raided Odipo’s offices at Plaza 2000 on Mombasa where they arrested him. Odipo who also accompanied Echesa to Poland to view the military equipment, holds the bank account in which the Sh 11 million consultation fee was deposited.
And speaking in Mombasa, Kinoti said details so far known about the whole scandal could just be the tip of an iceberg. He said more companies could have fallen victim to the fraudulent web.
“It is a well entrenched cartel. Part of it is in Kenya while another part is in other countries. We are talking to countries like Poland, the US and maybe in the course of investigations, we are going to discover more. It’s a web,” he stated yesterday.
So far more than 10 people have been summoned for questioning. Several others are lined up appear before his office in the ongoing investigations.
“We intend to interview more and more people...investigations begin from somewhere and develop,” the DCI said.
Kinoti was speaking on the sidelines of the opening of the anti-human trafficking and child protection unit at the Coast Regional Police Headquarters in Mombasa on Thursday. He assured that more suspects would be arrested soon.
He noted there was watertight evidence against Echesa who he faulted for attempting to hoodwink the public by playing innocent in the case.
“The case is straightforward. We got some money from him…there is evidence that some of the money had been wired to some other accounts and in addition he was in possession of documents that have fake stamps, signatures and seals. What other evidence do we need?” he posed while addressing the press in Mombasa.