Murang'a shooting brings together Nuno, Koome and Boinnet in Season II duel with Ipoa
On August 2, 2016, an incident involving the policing oversight agency brought together the Kayole police boss Ali Nuno, Nairobi police Commander Japhet Koome and Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet.
Mr Nuno, now Murang'a police boss, had threatened to kill Independent Policing Oversight Authority (Ipoa) officer Humphrey Kaunya, who had gone to his office to serve him with a summons.
Ipoa is a statutory body that provides for civilian oversight over the work of police officers. Its mandate includes investigating deaths and serious injuries caused by police action.
Mr Nuno was being investigated about illegal arrests and detention that were not recorded in the Occurrence Book as per the law. He had also been accused of corruption and abuse of office.
Mr Nuno's Nairobi County boss was Mr Koome, and their boss was Mr Boinnet.
Mr Kaunya had visited Mr Nuno's office accompanied by his colleague to issue him with a summons to appear before Ipoa.
Mr Nuno allegedly assaulted the Ipoa official and threatened him with his firearm, before detaining him.
Mr Kaunya was freed the same day after the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) through its then director, Mr Keriako Tobiko, intervened.
Fast forward to March 12, 2023 and Mr Nuno is the Murang'a police boss and Mr Koome is the Inspector General of Police while Mr Boinnet is the deputy security adviser to the president.
Mr Nuno is in trouble with Ipoa again for being in charge of last Sundays police operation in Kigumo sub-county in which two suspected gangsters were first arrested, and immediately afterwards were seen sprawled dead.
On February 25, a gang of six attacked two police officers on the Kangare-Kaharate road near Njora Secondary School gates. They stole one of the policemen’s AK47 rifle loaded with 30 bullets.
On March 11, a gang of six, while armed with two AK47 rifles, raided Unaitas Sacco Murang'a branch in Mununga trading centre and stole Sh4 million.
In the process, they attacked two police officers and dispossessed one of them of a G3 assault rifle loaded with 20 bullets.
It is in pursuit of this gang that a police operation involving a multi-agency team was dispatched into Kinyona forest where intelligence had shown the suspects were holed up.
Now Mr Nuno is accused of presiding over the operation that has now embarrassed the National Police Service and “wrongly” briefing Central Region Police boss Lydia Ligami.
Ms Ligami announced that police had arrested the two suspects through intelligence provided by the public, and that Sh1.14 million of the stolen money, plus two firearms with 32 bullets, had been recovered.
Later, Mr Nuno released a police signal indicating that the two suspects had died in a shootout with his police officers. This led to Ms Ligami amending her earlier statement of arrest to "fatally wounded as they engaged our officers in a shootout".
While the robbers are said to have been armed with two AK47 rifles and also ran away with an officer's G3 rifle, only one AK47 and the G3 rifle are said to have been recovered in the “shootout”.
Kenyans would not have known about the incident were it not for young police officers addicted to social media who filmed the scene of the two gangsters subdued, sitting on the ground, cuffed together, and posted the photos and videos online.
On Monday, Ipoa Chairperson Anne Makori confirmed that her team is investigating the Murang'a shooting that left the two suspected gangsters dead.
Ipoa has made contact with Mr Nuno through incident notification procedure.
"We have established that police action was an ingredient that resulted in the loss of the two lives and we have since dispatched a Rapid Response Team from Nairobi to join our Central region investigators based in Nyeri," she said.
The authority said it would conduct an independent and impartial investigation into the circumstances that led to the fatal shooting and take appropriate action upon conclusion.
The statement added that Ipoa would also recommend to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) any prosecution or disciplinary action against any police officer found culpable of misconduct or criminality.
And with that, Mr Nuno, Mr Koome and Mr Boinnet come together once more to battle Ipoa for police honours.
In the 2016 incident, the Kenya National Commission for Human Rights wrote to Mr Boinnet, demanding action against Mr Nuno, saying he threatened the Ipoa investigator with a firearm.
"We have learned that Mr Nuno has a record of obstructing the work of Ipoa and has in the past intimidated and obstructed inspection of police premises within his jurisdiction by Ipoa officers,” KNCHR vice chairman George Morara had said at the time.
Mr Nuno denied the claims and accused the Ipoa officials of disrespect and intimidation. He said he was irked by the officers' bad manners where they banged his table and threw the summons at him after he declined to receive it.
“I arrested one of them for misconduct. I had told them to take the summons to Nairobi County police commander because such summonses should come through his office,” Mr Nuno had said.
Mr Koome, who has dismissed Ipoa as a "busybody", strongly came to the defence of Mr Nuno, saying "he has not committed any offence".
He added that "he is a very good and hardworking disciplined officer and we have so much faith in him”.
Mr Koome's defence saw Mr Nuno escape any sanctions against him initiated by Mr Boinnet, who was the overall police boss.
It now remains to be seen how Mr Koome will respond to this new Mr Nuno's trouble with Ipoa and how Mr Boinnet is likely to advise the President about the Kigumo incident.