Pastor James Ng'ang'a arrested, locked up in police cells

Three weeks after he was implicated in an accident in which a woman died, Pastor James Ng’ang’a was yesterday dramatically arrested and locked up at Gigiri Police Station.

Police arrested the Neno Evangelism preacher outside Serena Hotel, Nairobi, where he had gone with one of his lawyers.

The preacher was arrested moments after his bid to block his arrest and prosecution was thwarted by the High Court.

Ng’ang’a had urged the court to issue orders restraining Tobiko and Boinnet from arresting and prosecuting him, pending hearing and determination of the application he filed in the High Court.

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His arrest came a day after Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko gave his verdict on the July 26 Limuru Road accident that killed Mercy Njeri.

A team of detectives in two unmarked cars who had been tracking Ng’ang’a in the morning were unable to arrest him near Integrity Centre.

A police officer involved in the operation said they called one of his lawyers, Assa Nyakundi, and asked him to present the pastor but when he failed to show up by 11a.m., they went for him.

From Serena, Ng’ang’a was escorted to Traffic Headquarters along Thika Road in the company of Cliff Ombeta, one of his lawyers. He was briefly held there before being moved to the Gigiri police cells.

The lawyers camped at Gigiri Police Station negotiating his release on cash bail. A stand-off ensued at one point when police there said they wanted to take the pastor to the Government Chemist to have his DNA samples taken for analysis.

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“We have objected to their move because we do not know the motive of the whole planned exercise,” said Ombeta.

Witness fear

By last evening, Ng’ang’a was still being held at the station.

Ombeta protested the detention, saying the offences Ng’ang’a was accused of were bailable.

The arrest followed an order by Tobiko that he be charged with at least four charges including causing death by dangerous driving.

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Ng’ang’a will also be charged with giving false information to a person employed in the Public Service, failing to report an accident as per the law and conspiracy to defeat justice.

Tobiko also ordered that two senior police officers based at Tigoni Police Station and Police Airwing Patrick Baya and Christopher Nzilu Nzioka respectively, be charged with conspiracy to defeat justice alongside Ng’ang’a and Simon Kuria. Police had claimed that Kuria, not Ng’ang’a, was behind the wheel when the crash happened.

The DPP gave the directions following recommendations by police after a probe into an accident in which Ms Njeri, 38, died and her husband Martin Mbugua was injured on July 26 at Manguo in Limuru.

Kuria, who presented himself as the driver of the Range Rover that caused the accident a day after the incident, will be charged with giving false information.

Nzioka and Baya will also face charges of neglect of official duty contrary to the Penal Code.

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The Witness Protection Agency was enjoined in the case after it emerged that some witnesses feared to record their statements.

In the High Court, Judge Weldon Korir ordered the pastor, through his lawyers, to serve Tobiko and with the suit papers and return to court today for hearing by all parties.

“I certify the matter as urgent and order the applicant to serve the respondents. The matter to be heard inter partes August 20,” the judge ruled.

Pastor James Ng'ang'aDPP Keriako Tobikoroad carnageMercy Njeri