Police in Nakuru are seeking to detain the suspected leader of the dreaded Confirm gang for 30 days to conclude their investigations.
Police told Principal Magistrate Isaac Orenge they needed more time before they could charge Mr Dickson Macharia Waithera, alias Deco.
Police Inspector Japin Nyachae, the lead investigator in the case, told the court that Mr Macharia, said to be the leader of the gang that has terrorised residents of Nakuru for years, was likely to interfere with investigations if released on bond.
The detective alleged that Mr Macharia was the mastermind of a spate of criminal activities that rocked Nakuru County in recent years.
Among the issues the police are investigating are his role in the brutal murders of women in Mawanga, Bahati, and organised criminal activities including drug trafficking and robberies.
Detectives also want to carry out forensic analyses on mobile phones and laptops seized from his house when he was arrested.
“Given the nature of the offences, investigations could not be completed within 24 hours and I request the court to allow me to detain the suspects for 30 days to allow further investigations in regard to the phones and laptops,” Mr Nyachae said.
But defence lawyers opposed the request, saying such a detention would be illegal and unconstitutional.
Mr David Mongeri, the suspect’s lawyer, urged the court to dismiss the application, saying it was not supported by tangible evidence.
Mr Mongeri said his client was innocent, accusing the police of using the courts to abuse his constitutional rights to freedom and a fair trial.
“The orders being sought are illegal and should not be allowed. If at all the police have been investigating my client, then they are supposed to charge him and not seek to continue holding him,” he said.
Mr Macharia was arrested on Wednesday at his house in Kivumbini estate, Nakuru Town East sub-county.
Nakuru County Police Commander Peter Mwanzo said security agents seized three phones, a laptop and narcotics valued at over Sh331,000 from the suspect.
Mr Mwanzo said the suspect operated a well-organised drug trafficking syndicate in the Kivumbini area, where he had allegedly recruited at least 200 young people to peddle drugs.
The court will deliver its ruling on Friday.