A Recce squad officer believed to be one of the main suspects in the killing of Monica Kimani has been arrested and quietly charged.
Thirty-one-year old Jennings Orlando Odhiambo was seized by detectives in a house in Nairobi’s Embakasi estate on Thursday evening. He was locked up at the Muthaiga police station overnight before being arraigned without fanfare in a Kiambu court yesterday.
Last evening, the Director of Criminal Investigations, Mr George Kinoti, confirmed the arrest.
Separately, detectives who spoke to Saturday Nation said they believe Mr Orlando was the man who accompanied Joseph Irungu, alias Jowie, on the night Monica was killed in cold blood in her Lamuria Gardens apartment in Kilimani, Nairobi, on September 19.
Monica’s throat was slit and her body dumped in a bathtub. Her killers left the water running. Her body was found when her brother went to check on her.
Irungu and television journalist Jacque Maribe have been charged in court over the death.
Detectives privy to the investigations said Orlando was arrested by officers from the Serious Crimes wing of the Directorate of Criminal Intelligence (DCI).
He was interrogated at the DCI headquarters before being taken to Muthaiga police station where he spent his night.
Yesterday, he was driven back to the DCI headquarters where an identification parade was conducted.
A source privy to the investigation said that he was “positively identified”. It was not very clear who identified him.
The source further said Orlando resembled a person who was in the car driven by Irungu. The footage of the moment the car drove into the apartment bloc was captured on CCTV cameras on Dennis Pritt Road.
“Detectives are almost convinced that Orlando is the man they have been looking for for almost a month now,” the source said.
Detectives led by Maxwel Otieno have been pursuing leads that Irungu was accompanied by another person on the night Monica was killed.
Yesterday evening, detectives conducted a search at Orlando’s house at the Recce headquarters at the Ruiru General Service Unit camp.
Detectives said that they were searching for the ‘killer weapon’ used on the fateful night.
That would mean they were looking for the knife believed to have been used to slit Monica’s throat.
The detectives were also in search of a ‘sizeable amount’ of money believed to have been in Monica’s possession.
Monica had just landed from Juba, South Sudan, where she was based and was set to fly out again, ostensibly to Dubai, before she was killed.
Orlando was arraigned at the Kiambu law courts at around 11am yesterday under heavy security. However, he did not plead to any charges.
Kiambu Resident Magistrate Justus Kituku allowed the police to detain him for 14 days to allow for more investigations. He also directed the prosecution to present Orlando in court on November 2.
Orlando’s appearance in court was shrouded in secrecy with detectives using every trick in the book to ensure that journalists were not present in court when the suspect was charged.
Sources who attended the brief session said the car that took Orlando to court was escorted by heavily armed officers in a separate car.
There were deliberate efforts by the prosecution team to ensure Orlando’s identity remained concealed.
The Saturday Nation learnt that there was an express directive that his court file was not to be leaked to the media because he was being treated as a “prospective State witness”.
Orlando, a constable, was taken back to Muthaiga police station and locked in. He is today expected back at the DCI headquarters for further questioning.
Tracing the weapon and the money believed to have been in Monica’s house will help the detectives firm up the case.
Investigators had in the earlier stages of the case said that the manner in which Monica was killed indicated that the suspect was well-trained.
Officers who know Orlando said that he was a fitness enthusiast who loved participating in sports and going to the gym.