Witness in Willie Kimani murder says officer paid him Sh15,000 to shut up

Peter Ngugi

Peter Ngugi at the Milimani Law Courts in Nairobi on December 20, 2021 during the hearing of a case in which he is charged alongside four others with the murder of lawyer Willie Kimani, his client Joseph Mwenda and taxi driver Joseph Muiruri.

Photo credit: Dennis Onsongo | Nation Media Group

A police informer has alleged that his co-accused in the murder of rights lawyer Willie Kimani bribed him with Sh15,000 not to mention him adversely.

Mr Peter Ngugi, testifying for the third day, said that Fredrick Leliman gave him the bribe last week and asked him not to disclose the role he played in the killing of Kimani, his client Josephat Mwenda and taxi driver Joseph Muiruri on June 23, 2016.

Mr Ngugi, Mr Leliman and three other police officers – Stephen Morogo, Leonard Maina and Sylvia Wanjohi – have denied murdering the three.

Mr Ngugi spoke about the Sh15,000 bribe when he was being cross-examined by lawyer Cliff Ombeta who is defending Mr Leliman.

Mr Ngugi, in his earlier confession to the police, said the three were killed one after the other, their bodies stashed in gunny bags and later dumped into Athi River near Donyo Sabuk.

 Dumping bodies

The former informer told Justice Jessie Lesiit that after returning from dumping the bodies, they were sold beer by Leliman’s wife at his bar in Mlolongo.

“Why didn’t you mention these women in your earlier confession to the police?” Mr Ombeta asked.

“I could not mention that the woman who sold beer to us after returning from Donyo Sabuk was Leliman’s wife due to fear,” Mr Ngugi answered.

He said Leliman was a dreaded police officer and he could not take chances.

Mr Ngugi also told the judge that another police officer he named Kamenchu was given money to fuel the cars that transported the bodies of the three victims to Athi River.

“All the evidence you have adduced graphically shows how you spied on the deceased, their kidnap, murder and subsequent disposal of their heavily mutilated bodies in Athi River is an after-thought,” Mr Ombeta charged.

In response Mr Ngugi said: “I cannot swear to tell lies before the judge about the involvement of those who killed the deceased.”

In the confession statement that has been admitted as evidence, Mr Ngugi gave a graphic description of how Leliman ferried the three victims in his car from Mavoko Law Courts where they were kidnapped to the Syokimau AP Post. The three were later removed from the temporary container cell, blind-folded and bludgeoned one after the other.

Mr Leliman later transported the bodies in his car to Donyo Sabuk.

 Scene of murder

But Mr Ombeta said call data obtained from Mr Ngungi and his client showed that Mr Leliman was at his house at the time Mr Ngugi said he was with the officer at the scene of murder. Mr Ngugi’s call data placed him at all the scenes of crime: Mavoko Law Courts, Kamirithu, Mlolongo, Donyo Sabuk, Gikomba and Kirinyaga Road.

Several cigarettes butts were also recovered at the murder scene and after being subjected to DNA tests, confirmed Mr Ngungi had been present.

In his response, Mr Ngugi told the judge he cannot forget what he did, what he witnessed and the roles played by all those involved in the killing of the three.

All the five accused have denied murdering Kimani, Mwenda and Muiruri.

 Hearing continues.


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