On the night of October 19, 2013, at Baba Dogo Estate in Nairobi, Martin Manyara had a domestic brawl with his wife, after which he attempted to strangle their child.
His neighbours, who were alarmed by the incidence after he chased his wife away, alerted Ruaraka Police station officers, who booked him at the station for attempting to kill.
His wife went to the station the next day to check on him. She was informed that he fell ill and was taken to Kenyatta National Hospital.
On reaching KNH, the woman found her husband dumped on a bench, unattended. He could not talk, hear or move.
His clothes were soaked in blood; head swollen and blood oozing from the ears. He was groaning in pain. He died a few hours later while being attended to by doctors.
The man's death has earned a former senior police officer in charge of Ruaraka station a date with destiny, with the possibility of a death sentence after being found guilty of killing Manyara.
Judge Martha Mutuku ruled that the prosecution proved beyond any reasonable doubt that Chief Inspector Nahashon Mutua killed Manyara by clobbering him with a metal bar in the cell and immersing his head in water.
“How can a police officer of his rank not know that the kind of brutality he used would result into death," posed Mutuku, adding: "I find him guilty as charged and convict him accordingly."
The judge detailed the track leading to the death, which she ruled had malice aforethought.
She stated that other suspects arrested on the day confirmed that the beatings took more than 30 minutes and any time Manyara tried to come out of the water the OCS would immerse his head again.
Although the officer stated that there was a fight between Manyara and another inmate, leading to the injuries, the judge ruled that all the witnesses confirmed to the contrary. “Why wasn’t the fight heard by police officers who were on duty or recorded in the Occurrence Book? It goes to show that he was in a cover-up mission,” ruled Mutuku.
KNH doctors said Manyara had deep wounds on the head, cuts on the lower lip, eight fractured ribs, brain haemorrhage and excessive bleeding from the neck that caused his death.
To cover up his action, the OCS implicated one Kelvin Odhiambo, who had also been arrested and was in the cell, with the murder, and charged him.
However, Odhiambo sought the help of the Independent Policing Oversight Authority and confessed everything that happened.
Charges against him were withdrawn and he became a witness against the OCS.
The judge also found that Mutua’s scheme to cover up included faking a report, setting other suspects held at the station free and paying medical fees for one of them to testify against Odhiambo.
She set December 20 for mitigation before passing the sentence.
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