Two Nigerians held over Rita Waeni murder

Rita Waeni

Nigerians suspected of killing and dismembering the body of Rita Waeni at the Makadara Law Courts on January 22, 2024.

Photo credit: Joseph Ndunda | Nation Media Group

Two Nigerian nationals suspected to have killed and dismembered the body of 20-year-old woman in an apartment on TRM Drive, Kasarani, before disappearing with her head were living in Kenya illegally, according to investigations by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI).

The two are William Ovie Opia, whose passport is expired, and Johnbull Asbor, who DCI says did not have any travel documents at the time of his arrest.

Asbor told detectives that he lost his passport two years ago.

The suspects were traced by the DCI’s Criminal Research and Intelligence Bureau (CRIB) detectives to an apartment in Ndenderu in Kiambu County where they were picked up on Sunday.

Constable Benjamin Wangila of Kasarani DCI offices told a Makadara court on Monday that the suspects were living not very far from the area where Rita Waeni’s head was recovered.

Rita Waeni

The late Rita Waeni.

Photo credit: Handout

A hatchet, butcher’s knife, a national identity card belonging to a Kenyan (name withheld), six mobile phones, three laptops, 10 SIM cards from different telecom services providers and other items were recovered at the house where the two suspects were living.

“The investigation team is seeking to obtain call data records for all the SIM cards and mobile phone numbers recovered from the respondents to ascertain whether they were involved in the murder,” Wangila stated in an affidavit filed in the court.

“The applicant requires adequate time to escort the respondents to the Government Chemist for extraction of their blood samples for DNA analysis and comparison against the samples that were extracted from the scene of crime.”

He said the suspects are flight risks since they don’t have a known fixed place of abode.

Family breaks silence over killing of 20-year-old Rita Waeni

Constable Wangila was seeking orders to hold the suspects for eight days at the Kasarani police station which were granted by Senior Principal Magistrate Agnes Mwangi of Makadara Law Courts.

They will be in custody until January 31.

The affidavit indicated that Opia bought a hatchet from an online vendor and he told investigators that he had bought it for self-defense.

 Mr Wangila said he was investigating a case of murder contrary to Section 203 read with Section 204 of the Penal Code, which was reported at Kasarani Police Station vide OB34/14/01/2024 by Priscila Maina, the owner of the short-term rental apartment where Ms Waeni was killed.

Ms Maina who is in custody told the police that she had received information from the caretaker of the apartment that there were blood traces from her BnB which led her to a garbage collection point on the ground floor where body parts were found stashed in refuse bags.

The head was missing.

Ms Maina is in custody for failure to register her tenant’s crucial details as required by the law, which would have helped the DCI to trace the murderer.

Waeni’s family was unable to identify her head on Monday at the City Mortuary although the DCI had said her head had been recovered at a dam in Kiambu on Sunday, January 21.

Records at the City Mortuary where the head had been taken indicated that it belonged to an unknown female adult.

A missing mobile phone that belonged to the deceased was also recovered at the scene.

The head was found covered in a sack and wrapped in a purple blouse, adding a sinister twist to the already gruesome scene.

A postmortem conducted on the body on Friday last week showed she had missing fingernails.