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Nyeri police officer wanted for skipping court

Wednesday January 23 2019

Peter Ihuhu Gachau in court on January 23,

Peter Ihuhu Gachau in court on January 23, 2019. He is accused of killing a fellow inmate using a hammer in 2015. PHOTO |JOSEPH KANYI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

JOSEPH WANGUI
By JOSEPH WANGUI
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A court has issued a warrant of arrest against a policeman who refused to testify in a murder case where an inmate is accused of killing a fellow prisoner.

Justice Teresia Matheka ordered Officer Commanding Nyeri Central Police Station to arrest Police Corporal Steven Odhiambo who appeared in the courtroom but disappeared shortly later.

Mr Odhiambo is the case investigating officer, State Counsel Kennedy Magoma told the judge while complaining about his conduct.

He was scheduled to testify against Peter Ihiuhu Gachau, 44, who is accused of killing a former Administration Police officer Shem Mugendi using a hammer on August 17, 2015 at King’ong’o GK Prison.

ROW

Mr Gachau killed the victim following disagreement on how to share Sh27,000 they had collected from unsuspecting members of the public through mobile money transfers.

The State counsel, while expressing his frustrations, said efforts to each the policeman were futile as he was not answering phone calls.

“He was summoned yesterday and in the morning he availed himself in the courtroom. But he disappeared without giving information on his difficulties in testifying. I urge court to issue another summon and a warrant of arrest against him,” said Mr Magoma. The officer vanished when other cases were being mentioned.

The suspect, through lawyer Douglas Ombongi also complained against the conduct of the policeman saying there was a wide mischief among the police officers handling the case.

“I do not know why such a witness would disappear from the courtroom,” said Mr Ombongi.

The suspect is alleged to have killed his cellmate after learning that he (deceased) had withdrawn some of the money, deregistered the mobile phone line and registered it afresh in his name. Mr Gachau came to know of it and demanded that his cellmate refunds him the money.

A disagreement then ensued between the two men during which Mr Gachau whipped out the hammer he had sneaked into the cell and hit the deceased several times in the head, killing him instantly.

The victim was serving his first year at the prison after he was jailed for 15 years for rape.

On his part, Mr Gachau was serving a life sentence for robbery with violence.