Echesa’s guard arrested for supplying firearms

Tuesday, May 21st, 2024 07:00 | By
Former Sports Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa. PHOTO/Print
Former Sports Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa. PHOTO/Print

Former Sports Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa’s bodyguard has been detained in police cells over allegations of supplying firearms, hand grenades, and teargas canisters to a suspected syndicate of thugs linked to committing robberies in the city and disrupting and dispersing political gatherings in Nairobi  and western Kenya

 Milimani Magistrate Robinson Ondieki ordered Echesa’s bodyguard Aziz Ali Keyokia who was charged alongside fake Kenya Defence Forces Captain Koffi Bill Atinda, his driver Kennedy Otieno Omwanda, and businessman Kennedy Odhiambo to be remanded at Capitol Hill Police Station on May, 24 when he will rule on whether they will be released on bond or not.

Officer Aziz alone faced two charges of neglecting his official duty as per the National Police Service  Na’tio by failing to surrender 14 blanks of ammunition and three teargas canisters to the armory on May 17, at Kizito area in Mwihoko I’m Kiambu county.

His co-accused person Koffi was separately charged with giving force information to two Chief Inspectors Onesmus Mutual and Yusuf Naiwet that he was an officer of the rank of a Captain in the Kenya Defence forces in a bid to bar the two officers from searching his vehicle in a roadblock along Narayan road in Parklands area in Nairobi County.

He was also charged that on May 16, 2014 at the Traffic Nairobi area police yard in Nairobi County without authority or excuse, had in his possession two papers intended to resemble and pass as US$200 and 13 black unmarked papers knowing them to be forged.

Koffi denied making force six documents namely National Contraction Authority Contractor Annual Practicing License registration number 78661/W/1023 with an intent to defraud unsuspecting Kenyans.

An affidavit filed in court by Police Constable Peter Mwangi attached Directorate of Criminal Investigations states that Koffi was arrested on May 15, 2024 by being stopped on a traffic roadblock along Narayan road in Nairobi County where he was supposed to undergo an Alco blow test.

“He didn’t cooperate with the officers and they were forced to use the necessary force to make him alight from the motor vehicle registration number KDL 1000 Toyota Prado black in colour which he was driving,” Mwangi told the court.

The detective further revealed that Koffi upon arrest was escorted to board a police lorry which was on standby and he was driven to Capital Hill police station and booked in cells with others who were arrested at the roadblock.

“The first respondent(Koffi) was trying to convince traffic police officers that he was a military officer attached to military intelligence and that the vehicle he was driving was attached to a military general and the same could be confirmed from the gate pass sticker that was displayed on the windscreen,” Mwangi told the court.

He added that the traffic officers were not convinced by the Kenya Defence Forces sticker and another military officer who rushed to the station to try and rescue the purported colleague but in return, they requested the assistance of military police whom upon preliminary interrogation disowned the Koffi as a military officer.

The court heard that Koffi was later charged on May 16, 2024 with traffic offences.

“Before the detained motor vehicle was handed over to theKoffi, traffic officers thought it was wise to involve DCI officers being in the sense that they had done a quick search at the scene and noted some documents which needed scrutiny,” Mangi told the magistrate

According to Mwangi, among the several documents that they had noted were some papers resembling USA 100 dollars, officers from DCI Operations Support Unit were dispatched to take over the investigations.

“ A search was done inside the vehicle and 13 papers resembling 100 USA dollars were recovered, company documents, JX phone resembling a police communication gadget, Tvident insurance of the Republic of application form, police bond and stanbic bank statement of account recovers of the government stores from the suspects where, “ he told the court.

Mwangi says Otieno appeared at the police yard whereby he introduced himself as the personal driver to Koffi.

He was also arrested and both escorted to DCI Operations Support Unit offices for further interrogation.

“From the quick check on the Otieno’s phone, there was a picture of his boss Koffi holding a pistol. We interrogated and he disclosed that the businessman Otieno was the owner of the said pistol. This prompted officers to move out and carry out searches on Koffi, Otieno an Odhiambo’s houses.” Officer Mwangi informed the court.

According to Mwangi, from the house of Koffi, the officers recovered sniper camouflage jungle attire, 7 Safaricom sim cards and holders, several ATM cards, company and National construction Authority certificates of Emmediet construction limited and rubber stamp of AUTOS-TRDZ-CUK limited.

From the House of Otieno, officers recovered a communication gadget resembling police communication gadget and laminated copy of identity card number 26863582 bearing the name of Linet Mudambi Sally.

The court heard that in the house of businessman Odhiambo who run a health and fitness center at Lavington, police officers recovered pistol make SIG SAUER serial number 558004384 and 12 rounds of ammunitions, 3 hand grenades (CS Burning) tear gas-eanisters, a firearm certificate number 004031, firearm holster and firearm cleaning materials

“Odhiambo disowned the three hand grenades, teargas canisters and he explained that they came into his possession after they were handed over to him by Aziz who happens to be a police officer from prisons service,” Mwangi told magistrate Ondieki.

Immediately after getting the details, DCI detectives moved swiftly and arrested officer Azis in Kizito area of Mwihoko area and search carried out at his residence whereby some ammunitions were recovered and he didn’t give out satisfactory reason of him having the same in his house.

“He(Officer) owned the three-hand grenade tear gas canisters but didn’t give satisfactory reason as to how they came into his position and the reason of leaving the same with a civilian,” Mwangi said.

He however urged the court to deny the accused persons bail application and them detained pending the hearing and determination of the case saying they are a flight ‘risk and will interfere with key witnesses.

“We oppose the four accused persons being admitted on bond terms in the sense that there is a lot yet to be confirmed from many quarter as illustrated below and there is a possibility of them interfering with the evidence if admitted on bond,” the officer urged the court.

The state told the court to the recovered firearm, ammunitions and the hand grenades tear gases had been subjected to ballistics and bomb disposal units for forensic analysis and police are to confirm whether the three hand grenade teargases were issued from the Chief service Armourer of the Republic of Kenya.

“ We are in the process of confirming whether Otieno is a licensed firearm holder and the recovered license whether issued by the firearm licensing board,” state prosecutor informed the court when opposing bail.

The prosecution also said there is need to also to obtain a report from the National Registration Bureau to ascertain the correct identity of the suspects because the documents recovered bear different names.

On their side, the four accused persons through defence lawyers led by Francis Kalwa urged the court to release them on reasonable bail terms as all their fixed abodes are well known by the police officers and will abide by all conditions set by the court.

Kalwa denied the allegations by stating that the accused persons can interfere with witnesses as all are police officers.

“ No evidence has been placed before the court to show that they are likely to interfere with witnesses,” Kalwa told the magistrate.

Officer Aziz told the court that he is a public officer attached to Echesa and by the time of his arrest, he was armed since he was providing security to the former CS.

He added that he can not abscond from the court jurisdiction as his fixed abode is known by the DCI detectives.

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