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Police chief to receive report on Pastor James Ng'ang'a crash probe

COUNTIES
By Nyambega Gisesa | August 7th 2015
The red Range Rover involved in a head-on collision that left a woman dead. The car is said to belong to Pastor James Ng’ang’a. (PHOTO: FILE/STANDARD)

Pastor James Ng'ang'a and mobile service providers had a date Thursday with special detectives over an accident that caused the death of a woman on July 26, with the probe report due to be presented to the police boss Friday.

The preacher's lawyer, Assa Nyakundi, told The Standard they were summoned by Traffic Commandant Charlton Murithi, who is leading investigations into allegations of a cover-up, to record a statement over the accident.

Mr Nyakundi said his client was asked to strip down so that the investigator could verify claims that he was injured at the scene of the accident along Naivasha-Nairobi highway.

"He stripped and they found no physical injuries on his body," the lawyer said.

Pastor Ng'ang'a also gave his mobile phones to the investigation team for further analysis, Nyakundi said.

Mr Murithi said he would hand over the report to Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet Friday.

The IG ordered an internal investigation into claims of a possible cover-up after reports emerged suggesting that Nga'ng'a was the driver of the red Range Rover that collided with a car driven by Mercy Njeri, who died on the spot.

Initially, Tigoni police had filed a report indicating Nga'ng'a was not at the scene but witness accounts contradicted the police version, prompting public uproar.

Falsely accused

But the pastor's lawyer Thursday insisted his client was being falsely accused.

"I am shocked about the allegations and I still insist that my client is not guilty," Nyakundi said. The lawyer has also refused to give details on his client's whereabouts on that day.

And it emerged Boinnet would today receive the investigative report on the accident that could determine the Ng'ang'as' fate. Boinnet is expected to evaluate the file and hand it over to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

If there is enough evidence, the pastor will face charges ranging from causing death by dangerous driving, failing to report an accident, to driving a vehicle without a valid licence.

The accident at Manguo on Naivasha-Nairobi highway led to the death of Njeri who was travelling with her husband Martin Mbugua, who suffered injuries.

Also on the spot is Inspector Nzuli Nzioka of the Kenya Police Airwing, who was said to be acting as an unofficial bodyguard to the preacher.

Fake documents

Although initial media reports had indicated Mr Nzioka was an "absentee" cop who has not been assigned any official duties for the last seven months, his boss told The Standard the allegations were not true.

"He has been reporting to work as expected," the Kenya Police Airwing Commandant Col (Rtd) Rogers Mbithi said.

The investigators are said to have taken a keener interest in the traffic police officers and their counterparts from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations at Tigoni Police Station, who are accused of a cover-up that involved the falsifying of documents and tampering with evidence.

Thursday, the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) said they were waiting for the investigations ordered by Boinnet to be finalised.

The IG has been on the spot for a series of tweets that seemed to claim the pastor was not in the car at the time even before investigations into the matter started.

"We are okay with the step by the Inspector General to order for investigations. He has given a timeline, which his officers have been following," IPOA Chairman Macharia Njeru said.

However, Ipoa said it can take up the matter if it feels the adversely-mentioned officers have not conducted their investigations satisfactorily.

"We are not mandated to investigate a traffic offence but we can take action against any officer found culpable for aiding it," Mr Njeru said.

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