Six to be arrested over murder of Chuka man- court orders

The High Court in Chuka has issued a warrant of arrest and arraignment orders for six suspects in the murder of businessman Daniel Mutembei on March 18.

In her ruling, Justice Lucy Gitari declined to extend the 14-day anticipatory bail the court issued on March 29 that barred police from arresting and charging four suspects until the matter was heard today, noting that the purpose of the orders had been overtaken by time.

The four, Wilfred Kirimi, Jamson Musyoka, Jadiel Kinyanjui and John Gitari were issued with an anticipatory bail of Sh500, 000 each.

Newton Mutwiri and Lyoid Nyaga are other two suspects in the murder of the successful businessman who hailed from Nkwego village.

During the issuance of the anticipatory bail, the court ordered that in case the applicants would be required to record statements with the Directorate of Criminal Investigations they would be required to present themselves before the investigating officer accompanied by their lawyer.

The judge, however, noted that according to a Directorate of Public Prosecutions officer, Ms Felister Njeru, the applicants declined to appear to record statements, only for three of them to go to the police station after public uproar.

“I have considered all the issues raised by the parties in this court and it is clear that the anticipatory bail is overtaken by events and a murder file E010/2023 has been opened,” said Justice Gitari.

Ms Njeru said there was enough evidence, including some from witnesses and that she had a watertight murder case to present in court against the six, which would lead to their conviction.

“The investigations have been finalised, the six have been mentioned adversely including by eyewitnesses, and at this level, it is up to the prosecution to direct arrest and prosecution of the suspects,” said Ms Njeru.

She termed the matter as ‘of great public interest’ as it led to demonstrations in the town, paralyzed transportation on the Meru-Nairobi highway and interfered with businesses for several days.

Speaking outside the court, Chuka/Igambang’ombe MP Patrick Munene, his Maara counterpart Kareke Mbiuki, County Assembly Speaker John Mbabu and a host of ward representatives led by Njeru Ingara of Igambang’ombe praised the court for the directions.

Mr Munene added that the delay in the arrest and prosecution led to the shooting of Tharaka Nithi County Boda Boda Operators’ Association chairman Willis Mugambi during demonstrations last Saturday.

The leaders, who have been leading demonstrations in the town for the past three days, vowed to ensure that the police officer accused of shooting Mugambi dead is also arrested and charged.

“We now have hopes that the killers of Mutembei will face the law and we appeal to the town residents to cool down demonstrations and allow the court to perform its duties,” said Mr Munene.

The matter will be mentioned on April 14, 2023, but the judge directed that the suspects should be presented in court as soon as they are arrested.

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