Ex-Mungiki chief faces charges after police assaulted

April 24, 2012 10:58 am
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Njenga had been called to the Kasarani police station to record a statement before he was placed under arrest/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 24 -Former Mungiki leader Maina Njenga has been charged in a Nairobi court with violently robbing police officers.

Njenga was charged alongside Francis Mwangi, Daniel Wanjohi, Ngari Njogu and Stephen Kuria.

They are accused of violently robbing police officers Daniel Mutuku, Edwin Okech, Gregory Nzioka  and Moses Mwangi of cell phones, ATM cards, two ceska pistols, certificates of appointment and other personal items all valued over Sh240,000.

They are also accused of robbing Joseph Njoroge Thuo Sh100,000 at Hope International Ministries at Thome estate Nairobi on April 22.

The four men were further charged with unlawfully damaging two vehicles valued at over Sh7.2 million.

It was further alleged that the suspects confined the police officers at the church unlawfully.

Njenga who was arrested on Tuesday morning was taken under tight security to court at around 1pm where he was held at the courts cells before he answered to the charges.

Police opposed to his release on bail saying they needed more time to conclude investigations since Njenga was only apprehended on Tuesday morning.

His lawyer Paul Muite however protested the State’s application saying they had all the time to conclude the probe.

The former Mungiki leader and the four accused were present at a church in Garden estate on Sunday, when a number of police officers were assaulted and their firearms stolen.

They however denied the charges before senior principal magistrate Elijah Obaga. Their bail application will be determined on Wednesday.

Earlier at the police station Muite protested what he termed a blatant abuse of the laws by the police after they rushed to take former Mungiki leader to court.

Muite said CID officers at the Kasarani police station did not take statements from the suspects as required by law, yet they had summoned them for questioning only to whisk them to court.

“It is totally against the law, what is the rush for. One can not understand why police will choose to continue violating the constitution,” Muite told journalists at the Kasarani police station after his clients were whisked away to the Milimani Law courts.

Muite said police did not follow proper procedures and had even decided to charge people who had accompanied Njenga to the police station yet they were not on their list of wanted persons.

“They had only indicated to me that they wanted to question Maina Njenga and Francis Mwangi, but I elected to bring along three other persons one of them is a person to whom the complainant Mr Thuo had talked to three weeks ago on this threats about Maina Njenga,” Muite said.

The other person, Muite said, is the one who was recording the confessions by Thuo when he was talking in the church. The other person is the watchman at the church.

“The police had not asked for these three individuals, I am the one who thought they had crucial information to give in regard to Maina. But in the middle of the statements (sic), I noticed a charge sheet, they did not even complete taking statements from them,” Muite protested.

Muite told journalists he had been in contact with the police since Monday and agreed to present Maina to them Tuesday but they did not indicate they intended to charge him and his associates.

“The law requires that the police warn the suspects of the charges they intend to face, they are supposed to give them an opportunity to explain themselves through a statement, but this did not happen,” Muite said, adding lawyers may find it difficult cooperating with the police.

The charges stem from an incident on Sunday when a man walked into the Hope International church and informed Njenga that there was a plot hatched to have him assassinated.

Njenga then asked him to narrate the information to the church members who got agitated and demanded that the man identifies himself when they noticed that he was armed.

A commotion is reported to have broken out before police officers were called in.

But when plainclothes police officers arrived, they were also attacked by the church members and in the process three of them were seriously wounded and firearms stolen. The rest complained of having lost various items, including money and mobile phones.

The crowd is reported to have assaulted the officers when they took long to identify themselves.

“I don’t understand why police do not want to investigate this matter conclusively and take statements from the people who were there before rushing to take people to court,” Muite said.

The former Mungiki leader has been on loggerheads with the police since last week when they broke up a meeting he was planning to attend at the Jumuiya conference centre in Limuru, sparking outrage from a section of leaders – including Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

Dozens of youths at the Limuru meeting and officer’s sustained injuries after anti-riot police lobbed teargas canisters at the group, triggering commotion that lasted hours as the youths engaged the officers in running battles.

While Odinga argues that police were not justified to break up the meeting, Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere has said they were acting on intelligence information that Mungiki youths were there to re-launch the outlawed sect.

The meeting dubbed Limuru 2B was to be addressed by among others Archbishop David Gitari and lawyer Paul Muite among others.

Organisers of the meeting insist it was a peace forum.

The meeting was intended to counter an earlier one held by Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta who was installed as the GEMA leader.

Njenga was charged alongside Francis Mwangi, Daniel Wanjohi, Ngari Njogu and Stephen Kuria.

They are accused of violently robbing police officers Daniel Mutuku, Edwin Okech, Gregory Nzioka  and Moses Mwangi of cell phones, ATM cards, two ceska pistols, certificates of appointment and other personal items all valued over Sh240,000.

They are also accused of robbing Joseph Njoroge Thuo Sh100,000 at Hope International Ministries at Thome estate Nairobi on April 22.

The four men were further charged with unlawfully damaging two vehicles valued at over Sh7.2 million.

It was further alleged that the suspects confined the police officers at the church unlawfully.

Njenga who was arrested on Tuesday morning was taken under tight security to court at around 1pm where he was held at the courts cells before he answered to the charges.

Police opposed to his release on bail saying they needed more time to conclude investigations since Njenga was only apprehended on Tuesday morning.

His lawyer Paul Muite however protested the State’s application saying they had all the time to conclude the probe.

The former Mungiki leader and the four accused were present at a church in Garden estate on Sunday, when a number of police officers were assaulted and their firearms stolen.

They however denied the charges before senior principal magistrate Elijah Obaga. Their bail application will be determined on Wednesday.

Earlier at the police station Muite protested what he termed a blatant abuse of the laws by the police after they rushed to take former Mungiki leader to court.

Muite said CID officers at the Kasarani police station did not take statements from the suspects as required by law, yet they had summoned them for questioning only to whisk them to court.

“It is totally against the law, what is the rush for. One can not understand why police will choose to continue violating the constitution,” Muite told journalists at the Kasarani police station after his clients were whisked away to the Milimani Law courts.

Muite said police did not follow proper procedures and had even decided to charge people who had accompanied Njenga to the police station yet they were not on their list of wanted persons.

“They had only indicated to me that they wanted to question Maina Njenga and Francis Mwangi, but I elected to bring along three other persons one of them is a person to whom the complainant Mr Thuo had talked to three weeks ago on this threats about Maina Njenga,” Muite said.

The other person, Muite said, is the one who was recording the confessions by Thuo when he was talking in the church. The other person is the watchman at the church.

“The police had not asked for these three individuals, I am the one who thought they had crucial information to give in regard to Maina. But in the middle of the statements (sic), I noticed a charge sheet, they did not even complete taking statements from them,” Muite protested.

Muite told journalists he had been in contact with the police since Monday and agreed to present Maina to them Tuesday but they did not indicate they intended to charge him and his associates.

“The law requires that the police warn the suspects of the charges they intend to face, they are supposed to give them an opportunity to explain themselves through a statement, but this did not happen,” Muite said, adding lawyers may find it difficult cooperating with the police.

The charges stem from an incident on Sunday when a man walked into the Hope International church and informed Njenga that there was a plot hatched to have him assassinated.

Njenga then asked him to narrate the information to the church members who got agitated and demanded that the man identifies himself when they noticed that he was armed.

A commotion is reported to have broken out before police officers were called in.

But when plainclothes police officers arrived, they were also attacked by the church members and in the process three of them were seriously wounded and firearms stolen. The rest complained of having lost various items, including money and mobile phones.

The crowd is reported to have assaulted the officers when they took long to identify themselves.

“I don’t understand why police do not want to investigate this matter conclusively and take statements from the people who were there before rushing to take people to court,” Muite said.

The former Mungiki leader has been on loggerheads with the police since last week when they broke up a meeting he was planning to attend at the Jumuiya conference centre in Limuru, sparking outrage from a section of leaders – including Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

Dozens of youths at the Limuru meeting and officer’s sustained injuries after anti-riot police lobbed teargas canisters at the group, triggering commotion that lasted hours as the youths engaged the officers in running battles.

While Odinga argues that police were not justified to break up the meeting, Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere has said they were acting on intelligence information that Mungiki youths were there to re-launch the outlawed sect.

The meeting dubbed Limuru 2B was to be addressed by among others Archbishop David Gitari and lawyer Paul Muite among others.

Organisers of the meeting insist it was a peace forum.

The meeting was intended to counter an earlier one held by Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta who was installed as the GEMA leader.

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