Court orders DPP to conclude Samuel Wanjiru death inquest this week

Samuel Kamau Wanjiru

Samuel Kamau Wanjiru gestures as he crosses the finish line to win the men's marathon at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games in August 24, 2008. The athletics star died under mysterious circumstances at his residence in Nyahururu in 2011.

Photo credit: Courtesy | Reuters

A Nairobi court has ordered the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji to conclude the inquest into the death of former Olympic marathon champion Samuel Kamau Wanjiru this week.

The former star died under mysterious circumstances at his residence in Nyahururu on May 15, 2011. He allegedly jumped from the balcony to his death.

Milimani Chief Magistrate Wendy Kagendo said the matter had taken too long to be concluded and “it must be closed this week”.

Ms Kagendo said the inquest “must be put to rest” when prosecutor Catherine Mwaniki said she had five more witnesses to call.

“Do what is within your (the DPP) powers to conclude this inquest by February 9,” she said.

Ms Mwaniki said she had one witness in court but the widow, Ms Teresia Njeri, sought adjournment saying her lawyer was absent.

The family lawyer, Mr Muendo Uvyu, said he did not contact the widow’s advocate, who resides in Nyahururu, about yesterday’s hearing.

Following the absence of the widow’s lawyer, the inquest was adjourned to today. Ms Mwaniki said she would consider calling the investigating officer.

Among those who have testified include Wanjiru’s widow, his mother and a woman who was with him on the fateful night.

Testimony from government doctors presented in court shows that Wanjiru was hit with a blunt object, leading to his death.

The doctors said the injuries on his head were not consistent with a fall, drawing the conclusion that he was assaulted before death. The mother adversely mentioned Ms Njeri.

She said her son was a victim of a vicious conspiracy targeting his wealth that runs into millions of shillings.

The mother wants the court to compel police to return the deceased’s safe, which was reportedly taken away by former Nyandarua North OCPD Josephat Ombati.

She alleged that the safe was taken away in the presence of Ms Njeri’s advocate, Mr Ndegwa Wahome, and had Sh66 million.

In a separate case, the mother wants the court to order Mr Ndegwa, who has been the custodian of the deceased’s properties, to surrender the estate to her.

Among the properties she wants is a four-acre piece of land at Boiman Nyandarua, five title deeds at Suera in Nyahururu, three trucks, two pick-ups and a house in Naivasha, where rent is collected monthly.

There’s also Sh2 billion, which was awarded to Wanjiru for the construction of a youth marathon training school, and Sh34 million sent by then-President Mwai Kibaki to condole with the family.

The inquest continues.