Nakumatt killing: Star witnesses unveil plot to block fraud probe
SEE ALSO :Nakumatt eviction case flopsDaudi, acting as an informer, told Loresho Police Station Commanding Officer Siameto Memusi about the police constable’s criminal ways and that his illegal firearm was behind the spike in robberies. Days before Karanja was shot, Daudi had been commissioned by the rogue police man to trail the internal auditor to his home, because he had supposedly refused to settle a Sh500,000 debt. Twice, Karanja was able to shed Daudi off in traffic as he was a very fast driver — a proposition made by his wife in another statement also filed in court. The police constable’s determination to finish the assignment was clear that whole week, the prosecution argues. He woke Daudi up at dawn two days before the murder, and drove to Nakumatt’s head office off Mombasa Road shortly before 7am. Daudi was to be shown Karanja’s car as he drove in for the day, so that he could trail him later in the evening to establish his place of residence. A few minutes before 8am, Karanja arrived at his office premises driving his black car. Daudi took the registration numbers and marked the car. As instructed, he arrived at the spot before 5pm and waited till Karanja drove out but was unable to keep up with his speed. The same sequence of events happened the following day, and this got the rogue constable worked up considering that he had received a down payment worth Sh80,000 for the dirty job. One of Nakumatt’s senior accountants, who also faces murder charges, allegedly commissioned the execution. An unknown balance would be paid after the task was completed. On the third day the rogue police constable asked to use Daudi’s motorbike but with Daudi’s friend — the co-accused — as the rider. The duo set out from Kangemi for Mombasa Road at around 2pm. They had removed the registration plates from Daudi’s motorbike to conceal its identity. Daudi was also asked to drive behind in the rogue police constable’s white saloon car, a Mitsubishi Lancer, to the agreed spot near Nakumatt offices. The car was to act as a back-up getaway means should the plan go wrong. He got to the Nakumatt premises after 5pm, long after the police constable and Daudi’s friend had arrived because traffic across the city centre was slow. The police constable, who was all the while wearing a motorcycle helmet and a black leather jacket, told Daudi to wait in the car and follow the motorbike when summoned. When Karanja arrived, Daudi’s friend started the bike as the police constable hopped onto the pillion. They trailed Karanja’s car for a few metres. As they overtook the black BMW, the police constable allegedly drew out his gun and allegedly fired three bullets into the right hand window of the car — killing Karanja instantly, sending his car swerving since his leg was still on the gas pedal. Daudi told the court that his friend took off at high speed towards Mombasa Road. Karanja’s car had blocked the narrow road ahead of him. Nakumatt’s employees were among the first to arrive at the scene before the police were called in to remove Karanja’s body and car from the crime scene. Daudi would make it to Kangemi at about 11pm to find the rogue police constable waiting for his car. Earlier the following morning, Daudi’s friend had handed to him Sh10,000 to buy his silence. Later that day, Daudi, who was well known by the other riders and youths in Kibarage slums as a police informer, disclosed the events of the previous evening to Mr Memusi. The OCS came up with a trick that would place the firearm in the hands of the police constable and confirm that the pistol was actually for hire. He instructed Daudi to ask the police constable for the gun, pretending that he had a robbery job at a mobile money outlet within the slum, and that the loot was estimated at Sh300,000. On standby The police constable obliged, but only after coaching Daudi how to protect himself should the robbery go wrong. He would also be on standby to salvage the situation by reporting the gun to another police station as having been recovered from thugs who fled a crime scene. But only if the plan failed. Memusi had succeeded in confirming his fears about the gun hiring and swiftly arrested the police constable. Back at Nakumatt, an email hit the mailbox of several senior officials informing them that Karanja was the first in a row of marked employees who were stepping on an unidentified person’s toes. “Last year, we warned James Karanja but he did not listen, now see what has happened to him,” read the warning from one Bernard Momanyi. Police are yet to indicate who the real sender is or where the email was sent from. More threats Other threatening emails have since been sent to the same senior Nakumatt officials after the death of Karanja, then 27, warning them of elimination should they carry on with investigations into fraud. “James was a young man the age mate of Gilbert and intelligent but his life is no more, Michael is a young man with a young family. I will deal with them. Mr Kimondo will follow suit. I am watching,” the terse email warning copied to four senior official reads in part. It was sent about two months after the death of Karanja, a father of one. Latoya Kaka, Karanja’s widow, did not mention whether her late husband had divulged any threats to his life in her statement that is also filed in court. Investigators have narrowed the motive of the killing down to Karanja’s persistence at stopping mega fraud perpetuated by senior staff and suppliers, and which was costing Nakumatt tens of millions of shillings. “The motive of the deceased’s death was due to the fraud investigations he was conducting at Nakumatt Holdings Ltd,” Investigating Officer Julius Kiema told the court. No names of the fraudsters have been given in court yet. It is also not possible to determine whether the supposed fraud is responsible for the financial mess that the giant retailer finds itself in currently, even though the management has cited various reasons for the difficulties that have threatened the closure of Nakumatt branches. Daudi is listed as the first prosecution witness in the murder because he places the main suspects, the rogue police constable and his friend, at the scene. He has also linked a senior Nakumatt accountant to the murder by having witnessed the conversation with the rogue police constable and the actual handover of the Sh80,000 down payment. Justice James Wakiaga is hearing the case where 16 witnesses have testified so far. Next hearing is scheduled for September.
Do not miss out on the latest news. Join the Standard Digital Telegram channel HERE.