Fake magistrate to be held longer as police probe his true identity

Victor Kiprono Ngeno

Mr Victor Kiprono Ngeno who is accused of masquerading a magistrate in Nakuru.

Photo credit: Joseph Openda | Nation Media Group

A man accused of masquerading as a magistrate will remain in police custody for two weeks as police investigate his alleged crimes.

Nakuru Senior Resident Magistrate Rose Ombata, in her ruling on Tuesday afternoon, allowed police to detain Victor Kiprono Ngeno for 14 days.

“I find the 14 days requested by the police to hold the suspect reasonable for them to complete their investigations and I therefore allow the application,” ruled Ms Ombato.

Inspector of Police Elias Baya said investigators need to establish Mr Ngeno’s true identity.

Mr Baya, the investigating officer in the case, said the police also need to carry out a forensic analysis of two mobile phones seized from the suspect and verify the origin of Judicial Service Commission employment forms found in his possession.

The court heard that the police are investigating charges of obtaining money by false pretence and impersonation against the suspect.

Mr Baya also told the court that at least eight other complaints were lodged against Mr Ngeno immediately after his arrest and they need to be investigated.

“We want to establish the true identity of the suspect by sending his fingerprints to the National Registration Bureau after he claimed to have never been registered,” Mr Baya said.

The application was supported by lawyer Kipkoech Ngetich on behalf of the Law Society of Kenya and a complainant identified as Samuel Soi, who argued that the case is of great public interest.

Mr Ngetich told the court that the suspect is a serial impersonator with cases across Kenya, including an active one in Sotik, Kericho County.

“This is an individual impersonating a judicial officer, which is a direct attack on the administration of justice. Proper investigations by the police will help in dealing with quacks in the legal profession,” Mr Ngetich said.

Mr Ngeno was arrested on October 9 by detectives from the Directorate of Criminal investigations in Nakuru who had trailed him for a year.

The police claimed the suspect had conned unsuspecting members of the public by posing as a magistrate based in Nakuru and pretending to be a brother of Devolution Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter.

Mr Soi, one of the complainants, claimed the suspect had conned him of Sh1.6 million while purporting to be in a position to help expedite a civil case in a Nakuru court and help his two children secure jobs.

The case will be mentioned on October 26