Magistrate says murder of key witness Jennifer Wambua shocking

Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi

Milimani Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Milimani Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi has expressed his grief following the murder of a key State witness who was scheduled to be cross examined in a Sh122.3 million theft case against a former Principal Secretary, Lugari MP Ayub Savula, his two wives and 27 others.

Mr Andayi Wednesday said he was shocked to learn about the death of Ms Jennifer Itumbi Wambua, a deputy communications director at the National Land Commission (NLC).

He said it was a very unfortunate incident which is the first to occur in a case he is handling in his many years of practice as a magistrate. 

"In my many years of practice, I have not had such an incident and it is important that the matter be mentioned in a physical court," Mr Andayi said during a virtual mention of the case against the former PS Sammy Itemere and others. 

Mr Andayi was informed about the mysterious killing of Ms Wambua by a State prosecutor.

News of death

The news of the death of the key witness was relayed to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) by the investigating officer in the case against the 23 suspects and seven companies.

"Your honour, there is a new development in the case following the passing on of our key witness, Ms Wambua, who had been stood down for cross examination,” the State prosecutor said.

The court was informed that investigations into the murder of Ms Wambua had started.

Ms Wambua had given her evidence in chief in the case against Mr Itemere, Mr Savula and his two wives Melody Gatwiri and Hellen Jepkor Kemboi among others.

The 30 have been jointly charged that between July 1, 2015 and August 30, 2018 at the State Department for Broadcasting and Telecommunications, Ministry of Information Communication and Technology, within Nairobi County, conspired together  to commit a felony, namely stealing Sh122,335,500 from the ministry.

Mr Andayi said it was unfortunate that the NLC official died under mysterious circumstances.

He adjourned the case, which was being mentioned virtually to fix a hearing date, then directed that it be mentioned before him Thursday in open court.

Ms Wambua’s body was found dumped in a thicket in Ngong Forest on Saturday after she was reported missing by her husband, Mr Joseph Komu, an employee of the Ministry of Agriculture.


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