, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 1 – A mechanic was arraigned in a Nakuru Court on Monday over the theft of a BMW which was linked to State House in media reports.
The mechanic, Aggrey Odhiambo, was charged with involvement in the theft of the vehicle – which State House has denied was part of the presidential motorcade – possession of a firearm and another vehicle also believed to be stolen.
And although the BMW is yet to be recovered, prosecuting attorney Cosmas Ikunywa told the court that they had reason to believe Odhiambo has information on its whereabouts.
He therefore petitioned Principal Magistrate John Mwaniki to allow for the continued detention of suspect for five days at the Nakuru Central Police Station, pending the conclusion of the investigations.
The vehicle has been missing since Wednesday when State House Spokes man Manoah Esipisu says it was stolen from a policeman.
“At 9.30 pm, the car’s driver, Chief Inspector Machui of the Kenya Police Service, was accosted by four armed men near Ruai, Nairobi,” he stated on Friday.
Esipisu then went on to explain that Machui was driven around the city by the carjackers before finally being released five hours later near the Administration Police Training College in Embakasi.
Machui, Esipisu said, was manhandled, “but not in distress.” He was also robbed of Sh60,000 in cash and a mobile phone, Esipisu said.
And while acknowledging that the car “was used for police business,” he vehemently denied that it was an armoured car used by State House.
“This was an ordinary car. It is not armour-plated. It is not part of the presidential fleet,” he stressed.
He also denied that the carjacking of the police vehicle, registered GK, was indicative of emboldened crime saying instead, “security is a shared responsibility and all drivers should be aware of their surroundings at all times to avoid such incidences.”
The case against Odhiambo has been scheduled for hearing on October 22.
Lawyer Cliff Ombetta however insists his client is innocent, but admits the BMW at the centre of the investigation was driven to his garage where its occupants had gone to check on the progress of the other vehicle Odhiambo is also accused of stealing.
“These are people he had been dealing with, so when they drove that BMW to his compound he did not know it was a stolen vehicle because they had gone to check on the progress of another vehicle they had earlier taken there,” Ombetta told reporters in Nakuru, soon after Odhiambo was arraigned in court.