, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 14 – A text message sent by unknown persons threatening to blow up the house of a sister to Medical Services Minister Professor Anyang’ Nyong’o led to the killing of an Administration Police officer who responded to the distress call early on Thursday.
The stranger sent the text message to Prof Nyongo’s sister who lives in Runda estate at about 3am, threatening to blow up her house unless she sent them an undisclosed amount of money, causing panic, according to the police and neighbours.
It was then that she telephoned her brother Prof Nyong’o who lives in the neighbourhood to alert him of the threats because the unknown assailants had claimed they were outside the house.
Prof Nyong’o is reported to have dispatched his security detail comprising APs to his sister’s house and on reaching the home, they clashed with their colleague who is detailed to guard Agriculture Assistant Minister Kareke Mbiuki, who is the woman’s immediate neighbour.
“It was about 3am and we did not know what was happening. We just heard gunshots outside and when I called the AP who guards my home his phone went unanswered. We waited until the gunfire went silent and we ventured out only to find a lot of policemen around and my guard was lying in a pool of blood,” Mr Mbiuki said. “He had been shot and died on the spot.”
“We have been told there was a shoot out and even the deceased officer had fired, and you see there is a group that is said to have been found outside the compound. So we cannot really tell who exactly shot my bodyguard, that is the work of the police who are now conducting an investigation,” The Nithi MP said.
Mr Mbiuki and the police identified the deceased officer as Pius Ikiara who had worked at the home for four years.
“He was a loyal police officer who served us diligently. He was always very active,” he said.
He said it was Prof Nyong’o who informed him of the text message that was sent to her sister warning her of dire consequences, including blowing up her house if she did not send money to the unknown assailant.
“Prof Nyong’o was in my house early in the morning soon after the incident occurred and that is the information he gave me. His sister had received a message and sought help from him, that is when the two groups clashed outside here,” he added.
Prof Nyong’o could not be reached for comment and her sister and other members of her family were busy recording statements with detectives from CID headquarters when we went to the home on Thursday morning.
Gigiri deputy divisional Police chief Njoroge Mbugua who led a team of officers to the home told us that the family had requested for privacy and could not comment about the matter at hand.
“They will not be able to speak to you. Please respect their wish. Our officers are still speaking to them to get to the bottom of the matter,” Mr Mbugua said and declined to discuss in details the nature of the investigation.
“The information we have is that the officer was killed when he responded to a distress call to the home of a sister to Prof Nyong’o. There were also AP officers who had responded to the same from the minister’s home so these are issues that are already under investigation. Please give us time we will get you more information later,” he said.
He said the officer was shot twice. One bullet him on the arm and penetrated to the chest while the second was fired at his leg.
“He fell down clutching to his G3 rifle. We found him lying on the tarmac in a pool of blood a few meters from the gate of the house where he was responding to a distress call,” the police officer said.
Asked if police were investigating the possibility that the officer may have been shot dead by his colleagues, he said “those are the issues that are under investigation. Let us not speculate.”
Flying Squad chief Munga Nyale told Capital News it was highly possible the text message sent to Prof Nyong’o sister may have been a hoax meant to dupe her to send money.
“These are common cases lately… there are a lot of conmen including the ones at the prisons who are so desperate to get money that they can go to any lengths to get them,” he said.
“People who come to blow your house don’t come to ask for money when they are outside. But this is an issue that is already under investigation and we will get to know the truth of the matter,” he said.
When Capital News visited the scene, a team of investigators were still combing the area searching for clues to the killing.
Police said the officers who responded to the distress call had also recorded statements and were helping investigators reconstruct the scene in giving an account of what exactly happened.