A member of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA), Mr Simon Mbugua, and three other people were locked up at the Central Police Station in Nairobi in connection with last week’s assault on a businessman.
Police arrested Mr Mbugua, Anthony Otieno Aboo alias Jamal, Solomon Benjamin Onyango alias Solo, and Stephen Sangira, at the Sagret Hotel in Nairobi. Mr Mbugua has been linked to five men who pounced on Nairobi Central Business District Association member Timothy Muriuki as he addressed the media at the Hotel Boulevard on Monday last week.
Tuesday morning, officers from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations, led by county chief Ireri Kamwende, summoned the legislator to the Nairobi Police Headquarters.
“We asked him to come and give us information about the attack on the businessman in order to facilitate the investigations,” Mr Kamwende said.
However, Mr Mbugua replied that he was having lunch at the Sagret Hotel, so they went for him there.
An officer involved in the operation said that as they were interrogating Mr Mbugua, he called someone, asking the person to mobilise youths to demonstrate to prevent his arrest. He also called some media houses, telling them he would issue a press statement.
Police officers picked out two people suspected to have been among Mr Muriuki’s attackers from a crowd.
“We were able to arrest Jamal and Solo, but three others are still at large. We are, however, optimistic that we will find them,” Mr Kamwende said, adding that signals from the phones of three arrested placed them at the scene and time of the attack.
Police said that Mr Sangira was with the legislator, and that they could not find evidence linking him to the Monday attack, but they needed some undisclosed information from him.
Mr Kamwende said the police were preparing him to take Mr Mbogua to court.
Mr Mbugua said at the police station that the arrest was politically motivated. He had on Sunday distanced himself from the goons, saying they are usually hired.
“They are goons. They can be hired by any politician. There is no way I can send people to attack Mr Sonko or anybody supporting him,” he said.
Other suspects being sought by the NPS include Brian Owino alias Orange, Michael Mbanya, and Suleiman Hussein alias Rescue. The National Police Service on Friday a Sh2.5 million bounty for the five suspects, saying they were wanted for robbery with violence, an offence that attracts the death sentence in this country. But the police did not give the names of the suspects.
The Monday attack took place as Mr Muriuki was addressing the media on the state of Nairobi. He was going to talk about of garbage collection, poor roads and crime.
But no sooner had he began reading his statement than two men pounced on him and began roughing him up, blaming him for tarnishing Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko’s name, in the full glare of the media.
The two men continued manhandling him before dragging him out of the hotel’s compound, where he was attacked by a mob.
Another man who was admitted at the Nairobi West Hospital said that he had fallen victim of the same gang. He claimed that the same people had roughed him up as he tried to access Governor Sonko’s office on Saturday.
Governor Sonko has on many occasions denied any link to the gang, saying the whole story was created to show Nairobians that he had no capacity to be the governor.