What happened to Treasury CS Rotich and PS Thugge in police cells

DPP-hired lead prosecutor Taib Ali Taib at Milimani anti-corruption court where Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich, PS Kamau Thugge among others were charged with abuse of office and corruption. [Standard]

Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich and his Principal Secretary Kamau Thugge shared a cell at Muthaiga Police Station where they chatted until 2am yesterday, police sources said.

Rotich had been driven into the police station at about 6pm on Monday.

Thugge had first been taken to Pangani Police Station but was later driven to Muthaiga Police Station at around 7pm where he joined his boss for the night.

Following their arrest at their offices on Monday morning, the two men were taken to the offices of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations on Kiambu Road where they joined 11 other suspects and had their fingerprints taken.

At Muthaiga Police Station, they were ushered into a room that has hosted other graft suspects in the past. Sources said the room is furnished with a table, mattress and blanket.

On Monday night, Rotich was allowed at least five visitors who included his wife and lawyers.

Thugge’s relatives and his lawyer also came calling. The main gate to the station was closed as police vetted guests who wanted to visit the two and five other suspects held in separate cells.

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The police were reportedly restricting entry because they did not want a repeat of an incident where guests of Dennis Itumbi, who is a suspect in a different case, were given free access at the station two weeks ago prompting the suspension of a senior officer.

Sources said Rotich ate dinner that was brought by his family.

“He seemed relaxed and ready for anything. He and the PS understood, from their experience, why the police have been in need of money to construct and renovate police facilities,” said an officer who asked not to be named.

Around 5am, the suspects’ relatives arrived with a change of clothes, toothpaste, deodorant and Vaseline, among other items.

The officers had already taken roll-call and they told the men to prepare to leave for court. The suspects freshened up, changed into fresh clothes and ate their breakfast.

They were driven to Pangani Police Station where they mingled with officials from the Kerio Valley Development Authority who had also been detained overnight. 

Most of the KVDA suspects had neither received visitors nor changed their clothes because they had been picked up in Eldoret and brought to Nairobi.

Night in custody

They all boarded a van that headed to Parklands Police Station to pick up more suspects before it sped towards Milimani Law Courts.

The suspects had spent the night in custody after their lawyers unsuccessfully attempted to have them released on police bonds. 

They were ushered into the Milimani court cells at about 6.30am and were held there until about 9am when they appeared in court. 

Rotich had been the first suspect to be picked up from his Treasury Building office before being driven to the DCI headquarters.

Thugge was also arrested in his office as DPP Noordin Haji issued a statement elaborating his case against the officials.

Police teams in Nairobi, Tharaka Nithi and Eldoret had been briefed and put on standby. They had mapped out where the suspects were before driving out to make the arrests.

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Kamau ThuggeMuthaiga Police StationHenry RotichDPP Noordin Haji