Last week, Kenyans were treated to the news of a gang of five robbers killed by police in Juja, after a tip-off of planned robbery. One escaped.
However, reports emerged later that one of the ‘robbers’ killed was city lawyer Jeremiah Kinyua, who was in the company of his four other friends.
Announcing the news, the police said: “Today, 12/3/2019 1930 hours, police officers received information of an intended robbery at Lexo Petrol Station. The six robbers on board a Tuareg Volkswagen alighted brandishing an AK 47. Police challenged them but they defied. They were overpowered and five of them were fatally shot. One armed with an AK 47 escaped.”
But what accuracy did the police report bear?
The police did not clearly state where the information of a planned robbery came from. Was it from from the members of the public or from the gang?
Police say the five suspects were trailed from Thika until the scene of crime where they were murdered. According to witnesses, the police came in three police branded cars. Who on earth would try to execute a robbery in the presence of three police cars.
The alleged robbers used a Tuareg Volkswagen, which costs around Ksh4 million on average. Robbers rarely use this model of a car.
According to reports by the Standard, eyewitnesses say that it was difficult to establish whether the targets in the car were firing back meaning that the ‘suspects’ could have been pushed to their death.
“They were armed with three homemade pistols and an AK47 rifle. The one with the AK 47 rifle escaped,” said the police, but failed to show the weaponry they recovered.
Their car was sprayed with more than 50 bullets, with Kinyua being shot seven times while his friend Ian Collins Ojuok, had 18 bullets. A third man, Amos Ngugi, had one bullet and was said to be Kinyua’s client.
The other two are yet to be identified.
The driver’s side of the car had more than 30 bullet holes, according to reports.The police is yet to reveal which unit was involved in the murder of the lawyers.
This adds to the several unresolved cases of extra-judicial killings by police such as that of lawyer Willy Kimani, his client Josephat Mwenda and taxi driver Joseph Muiruri which is yet to be concluded three years to their murder.
The number of extrajudicial killings by the police has been on the rise, with Independent Medico Legal Unit (IMLU) statistics showing that 822 people died from police bullets between 2013 and June 2018.
According to the body, there are 44 cases of summary executions between January and June every year.
Other cases of high profile murders suspected to be police jobs include Jacob Juma and Chris Msando, who were murdered before 2017 general elections.
The cases are yet to be resolved to date.
According to some Kenyans, the 1980/90s state killings could be back, even as Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti concentrates on fighting corruption while his squads are killing more innocent Kenyans. Kinoti is accused of giving a blind eye to the killings.
The Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) has launched investigations into the circumstances under which the lawyer and his friends were murdered, but how many such promises have been given before?