How slain IEBC man's phone led police to four suspects
Investigations into the death of Daniel Mbolu Musyoka, the slain Embakasi East Returning Officer whose body was found dumped at Kilombero Forest in Oloitoktok on August 15, has taken a turn after police tracked down his phone to four suspects.
The Nation has established that four people who used Mr Musyoka's phone since he was murdered are currently being held at Embakasi Police Station as they assist the police with investigations.
A detective privy to the probe said the four were lured by sleuths before being nabbed in Nairobi and Kisii counties.
“The four allegedly sold the gadget to a woman who has been using it since the IEBC official went missing. Detectives had been trying to trace the whereabouts of the gadget after they realised that it was in use.”
The four suspects were first lured to a central point by detectives after they arrested the woman who had been using the mobile phone for about a month. It is then that the woman was implored to reach out to the person who sold it to her.
The man who handed her the device was then asked where he got it, to which he explained that he was handed the gadget by a man he knew well.
While tracing the phone's change in hands since Mr Musyoka's death, the detective said the first person who picked the phone reported collecting it somewhere within Umoja estate in Nairobi. Police are still trying to establish details of how the phone ended up in use.
At the time, police had reported that his mobile phone went off an hour after his disappearance in Mihang’o, in Utawala.
Cracked phone's password
The four suspects spent Tuesday night in custody before they were arraigned at Makadara Law Courts on Wednesday morning. Detective inspector Anderson Miriti of Embakasi DCI office obtained orders from the court to detain them for 14 days pending investigations.
“Preliminary investigations reveal that the suspects got the said mobile phone the same day Mr Mbolu was reported missing and disabled the mobile phone’s applications,” he said in court.
Mr Miriti said one of the suspects, a mobile phone repair technician, also cracked the phone’s password for his accomplices.
Disappeared without a trace
Mr Musyoka was first publicly reported missing by IEBC chair Wafula Chebukati on Friday August 12, just three days after Kenyans went to the polls in the General Election. Mr Chebukati made the announcement at the Bomas of Kenya during the Presidential election results verification process.
The IEBC chair said Mr Musyoka went missing Thursday at 9am at the city’s East Africa School of Aviation where tallying of presidential election results from Embakasi East constituency was going on. According to Mr Chebukati, Mr Musyoka left his house and was escorted to the tallying centre by his official bodyguard.
Witnesses say he excused himself from the tallying centre to pick a call at around 9.40am, before he went missing. He was last seen leaving the tallying centre, heading to the nearby bus stop.
He was about to announce the results in the member of National Assembly and member of county assembly races for Embakasi East. After his disappearance, his deputy took over and announced the results.
A search ensued for a few days before his body was discovered early on Monday August 15 in Kilombero forest, at the foot of Mt Kilimanjaro, by herders. The body was naked, but a track suit and a Maasai shuka lay some distance away. The body had fresh bruises on the neck, pointing to possible strangulation. The lower limbs were swollen but there were no visible injuries.
Kept in captivity
However, the body appeared fresh, according to Loitokitok Police Commander Shadrack Kiprop Rutto, suggesting that it had not been long since Musyoka was killed. Police theorised that Mr Musyoka was likely kept in captivity before he was murdered, because the body had not decomposed and was intact despite being in an animal corridor in the forest.
"We suspect the deceased was being held by his tormentors for a few days after his disappearance, only to kill him later. If the body had been dumped the day he went missing, it would have begun decomposing or it would have been devoured by wild animals,” said Mr Kiprop.
A post-mortem done by a team of five pathologists failed to ascertain the exact cause of death. They said they could not determine the precise cause of death, saying samples would be subjected to further forensic analysis in a government lab. Government pathologist Dr Dorothy Njeru told members of Mr Musyoka’s family outside the morgue that the murder was done in a "professional" manner and that there were no physical injuries. She said most of his internal organs were intact.
At the time, a sleuth privy to the investigations told the Nation that officers were pursuing the identity of the mystery caller who reached out to Mr Musyoka before he disappeared.
Feared for his life
Two days before he was reported missing, Mr Musyoka had told a close family member that he feared for his life.
Mr Nicholas Musyoka, his cousin, told journalists on Saturday that he had communicated with the deceased who informed him that all was not well and that he was planning to go into hiding.
“When I last spoke to him he expressed fear for his life saying he needed somewhere to go. I figured things were not okay for him,” he said.
Mr Chebukati, IEBC CEO Marjan Hussein, commissioners Abdi Guliye and Bolu Moya attended his burial ceremony in Machakos on August 26.
Mr Musyoka was survived by his wife Tabitha Mbolu and two children, Prudence and Isaac.