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Tale Of Celebrated Hero In Westgate Terror Attack Now Suspect In Two Murders

Chief Inspector Stephen Lelei (Image/Courtesy)

Chief Inspector Stephen Lelei is one of the most celebrated heroes following the Westgate terror attack on September 21, 2013.

The Inspector is reported to be among the first police officers to have responded to the attack thus played a crucial role in rescuing people.

In reports published by Daily Nation, Lelei was shot in the leg while making efforts to rescue Kenyans who were trapped in the mall and continued with the rescue mission until special forced arrived.

After the attack, he was applauded for his bravery and celebrated countrywide thus earned a Silver Star from the head of state, President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Read: #TerrorAtTheMall: Westgate Mall Attack Documentary on HBO this September

Months that followed detailed a series of promotions as he was accorded respect by police officers of all ranks.

He was transferred to Busia as the officer in charge of the weighbridge and then returned to the Nairobi Industrial Area Police Station to replace Chief Inspector Amos Shamala.

He later moved to Mlolongo as the area Police Commander in charge of cracking down notorious robbers who were responsible for attacking transit trucks among other activities.

However, his life took a new turn following the details of the murder of renowned activist and lawyer Willie Kimani, his client and a taxi driver.

Read Also: Lawyer Willie Kimani’s Suspected Killer to Face More Murder Charges

The main suspect in this murder case is Sergeant Fredrick Leliman who has been charged with two additional murders following investigations by the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA).

Sergeant Leliman was serving under Lelei and according to police reports, an informer Peter Ngugi disclosed to the court that he knew the former through his friend Lelei.

On Thursday, April 23, 2020, IPOA gave the go-ahead for the prosecution of Lelei alongside Leliman for the alleged murder of a couple, Jacob Mbai and Elizabeth Nduku in Mlolongo town, Machakos County.

Apparently, the oversight authority has indicated that the two police officers shot the couple and issued a false statement indicating there was a shoot out.

Read Also: Lawyers Mark 1 Year Since Willie Kimani Died, Plan Week Long Campaign

“Mbai and Nduku were shot dead at Mlolongo Township, Machakos County. They were shot by police officers who thereafter reported that they were responding to a planned robbery. Upon an independent review of IPOA findings, the ODPP wrote to the authority and gave the green light to charge the following officers with murder,” reads the statement by IPOA’s Chairperson Anne Makori.

The two officers also face an additional charge of unlawful use of firearm, contrary to Section 26 A (1) (a) of the Firearms Act.

In addition, IPOA stated that the families of the victims had filed a complaint claiming sergeant Leliman, whom they identified as Maasai, shot the two after an altercation that had nothing to do with a robbery incident.

Read Also: Cliff Ombeta Fails To Appear In Court Again In Willie Kimani’s Murder Case

In a past interview with NTV days after the burial of the two, Jacob’s father said that after reporting the incident under OB number 34/28/5/2016 the police were hesitant to take any action.

“It is difficult for me to get justice for my son because I am dealing with people who have power,” he said.

The family claimed that Leliman and his colleagues threatened them to drop the matter, for instance, IPOA launched a probe after Jacob’s brother unsuccessfully tried to follow up the case with officers at the Mlolongo Police Station.

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Written by Mercy Auma

Passionate about human interest stories and politics. Email

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