Peter Mwangi Njenga alias Ole Sankale, the prime suspect in the murder of National Lands Commission (NLC) Deputy Director of Communications Jennifer Wambua, is not fit to stand trial a Machakos Court was told on Wednesday.
Appearing before the Machakos High Court, the prosecution said a mental assessment conducted on the suspect revealed that he is mentally ill.
Sankale is, however, scheduled to undergo a second mental assessment test on June 24, his lawyer Dorine Mwau confirmed.
Consequently, Sankale didn’t take plea. Justice David Kemei ordered that the matter be mentioned on June 22 after the review.
The suspect will be held at Muthaiga Police Station pending tabling of the mental assessment report.
Wambua’s body was found in a thicket in Ngong forest where she had gone to pray on March 15, three days after she was reported missing. An autopsy exam showed that she died of strangulation.
Early this month, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations released a detailed statement linking Sankale to the murder of the NLC employee.
According to the DCI, a forensic examination had placed the suspect at the scene of the crime.
Sankale, DCI said, sexually assaulted Wambua before killing her.
“The detectives through criminal intelligence first forensically placed the suspect at the scene of the crime. They managed to establish eyewitnesses who saw the suspect with the deceased the last time she was seen alive on March 12th, 2021, at the scene and thorough repeat combing of the scene they stealthily managed to pick crucial exhibits,” said DCI.
“The exhibits were professionally marked, packaged and presented for forensic examination. The forensic results are finally out, positively matching the suspect. In a murder most foul, the deceased’s body had been found half-naked by detectives, who suspected that she had been sexually assaulted, before being murdered in cold blood.”
A report issued by the government pathologist Dr Johansen Oduor who conducted an autopsy on the deceased’s body, had confirmed that there was sexual contact with her killer(s).
“Following detailed forensic and intelligence led investigations, detectives established that the suspect had indeed interacted and spent quite some time with the deceased at the location where the body was later discovered,” DCI added.
“It was also established that the area is often visited by pilgrims for spiritual intentions. Detectives further established that the suspect preyed on deceased as she prayed, before he made his move to sexually assault her and strangle her to death.”
The DCI said the suspect is a serial offender who has committed similar offenses in the past, using the same method of preying on victims, sexually assaulting them before killing them.
He is reported to have been jailed in 2003 over related offences.
“For instance, in 1996, he was charged with stealing and was further charged three times with the offenses of robbery with violence and rape. On January 15th, 2003, he was convicted and sentenced to death at Kibera Senior Resident’s Magistrate Court.
How he got his freedom is still a mystery, the DCI said.