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Police inspector charged with murder of suspect in Sh72m heist

James Ngige was accused that on March 2020, jointly with others already charged, he killed Wycliffe Owour

In Summary

•Before taking a plea the prosecution had sought to detain the accused for seven days for them to conduct a mental assessment.

•However, Ngige through his lawyer Danstan Omari opposed saying last week four officers were charged in the same case and took a plea before taking the mental assessment as it was not a mandatory requirement.

Gavel.
Gavel.
Image: FILE

An inspector of police was on Wednesday charged before a Nairobi court with the murder of the suspected mastermind of Sh72 million heist.

James Ngige was accused that on March 2020, in Kayole Junction in Kayole, jointly with others already charged, he killed Wycliffe Owour. 

Ngige denied the charges before High Court judge Grace Nzioka.

Before taking a plea the prosecution had sought to detain the accused for seven days to conduct a mental assessment.

However, Ngige through his lawyer Danstan Omari opposed saying last week four officers were charged in the same case and took a plea before taking the mental assessment as it was not a mandatory requirement.

Justice Nzioka said the accused will never in trial or after raise anything of insanity in the case.

Omari requested to have Ngige remanded at Capital Hill police station saying that he was an inspector of police at Kayole police station and his security was at risk.

“We plead with the court for this request because, at the Nairobi Remand where the other four are being held, they are getting problems from inmates who were arrested courtesy of him”, Omari said.

He urged the court to remand Ngige at Capital Hill until the mention date, June 21.

The prosecution however opposed the application saying the allegations raised by Omari have not been verified in any way.

The court heard that the correct position over the allegations was to summon the officer in charge of Nairobi Remand to conduct an assessment.

The prosecution said Nairobi Remand is not the only prison in Kenya.

“If it's a security issue, we have adequate facilities and can transfer them,” the prosecution said.

“The officers who are in the same case at Nairobi Remand home have not raised any issue of the report from their counsel or prison correctional facilities.”

The judge however asked Omari to file a formal application on the same.

Nzioka ruled that it is the procedure that once charged, the court cannot take an accused person to the same police station but in remand.

“The accused will be remanded at Nairobi Remand home. The officer in charge of the remand should ensure there are adequate security measures put in place,” she said.

“If they can create a separate facility for him then let that be it.”

She however said in case the officer in charge of Nairobi Remand finds that it is not tenable to keep the accused in his institution, then he will move the court accordingly.

On Tuesday last week, corporal Joseph Ojode Obama and constables Henry Mutai, Bashir Ali and Charles Kirimi were charged with the same offence and denied the charges.

The arrests of the inspector  and the four officers were effected following recommendations by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions who ordered investigations.

Owour was suspected to have been assassinated by the accused. 

The Directorate of Criminal Investigations said Owuor was gunned down on March 24, 2020, after a fierce shootout with the police.

At the time, Owour was out on a Sh500,000 bond. 

The gang defied orders to surrender, engaging the officers in a fire exchange which left the said suspect down. 

The victim was alleged to have orchestrated the bank heist with the aid of rogue police officers. 

They said Owour had offered to corporate with the officers during their arrests. 

 

Edited by Kiilu Damaris

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