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Year 2018: Monica Kimani is grotesquely killed, Jacque Maribe and Joseph Irungu arrested

COUNTIES
By Mercy Asamba | December 25th 2018
Suspects in Monica Kimani’s murder case Jacque Maribe and Joseph Irungu at Milimani Law Courts in Nairobi. (Beverlyne Musili, Standard)

In September murder most foul caught the public’s attention, Citizen TV journalist Jacque Maribe and her fiancé Joseph 'Jowie' Irungu found themselves roped in as the main suspects.

Monica Kimani, 28, a businesswoman, was found dead in a bathtub with her neck slit ear to ear at her Lamuria Gardens Apartment in Kilimani, Off Dennis Pritt Road on September 20.

The body was found by her brother George Kimani when he visited Monica’s apartment to ascertain her safety after having failed to reach her on mobile phone the whole night.

Before Monica’s death

Upon Ms Kimani arrival from South Sudan on September 19, police report indicates that she was dropped by a taxi at 7.30pm.

She then left to collect a delivery at the gate after which a neighbour, Owen came at her house to deliver a South Sudanese car number plate she had given him earlier and requested it be insulated.

Another neighbour, a Lebanese, having realised that Ms Kimani was at home, joined the two neighbours at the apartment.

The three neighbours were thereafter joined with a fourth visitor, a man dressed in a pair of jeans, a grey hoodie, a cap and a white robe, popularly known as a kanzu. The man, who was later identified by police as Joseph ‘Jowie’Urungu went straight to the kitchen and returned with a glass of wine. At the gate, he registered himself as Dominic Kamau.

The neighbours left Ms Kimani in the company of the man in a kanzu.

The man in the white robe calling himself Dominic Kamau left the apartment, driving a Silver Toyota Allion, KCA 031E. Later, street cameras captured him in the car with an unidentified man.

The Arrests

Joseph Kuria Irungu, who asked for Citizen TV host Jacque Maribe’s hand in marriage on June 30, was the first one to be arrested after witnesses at a police parade positively identified him as the last man seen walking out of Ms Kimani’s apartment on September 19.

Irungu’s name came up during investigations after one of those who had recorded statements told police they knew him as Joe and Ms Maribe’s boyfriend.

Irungu had worked in Dubai as a security officer for a private firm. He schooled with Monica at the Kenya Polytechnic, now Technical University of Kenya in Nairobi.

Another suspect Brian Kassaine was also arrested in connection with a gun Irungu allegedly used to shoot himself. Brian Kassaine is a neighbour to Maribe.

The couple was said to have got into an argument at Maribe’s Royal Park Apartment house number 626 on September 21, where Irungu is suspected to have grabbed a pistol and shot himself on the right side of the chest. The bullet exited from the back and hit the wall, leaving a hole.

It is the gun angle that put Kassaine in soup.

Kassaine was later freed and is now a prosecution witness. He is said to have assisted police to reconstruct the events of the night Monica was killed. He also helped police resolve the puzzle of how vital evidence was allegedly destroyed by the principal suspects in the murder.

Maribe, the second suspect in Monica’s murder, was arrested on September 29 after a long day of questioning at the DCI headquarters on Kiambu Road. Having lost patience with her a call was made to turn her from a witness to a suspect.

Police had also recovered a partially burnt white robe, T-shirt, cap and other clothing in her compound.

Incidentally, it was Maribe who read the news announcing the murder of Monica Kimani during the lunchtime bulletin on Citizen TV on September 20.

Maribe was later released on Sh1 million cash bail with three sureties of the same amount. She was barred from reading news or conducting interviews on matters related to the case. But her fiancé was denied bail on grounds he will abscond trial and flee the country besides intimidating witnesses.

The hunt for the mystery third suspect in the murder took a new twist after police arrested one of their own, a Recce Squad officer believed to be the second person who was at Monica’s house the day she died.

The chase, which took officers to Mombasa and back in the hope of arresting the suspect came to an end in Embakasi on the night of October 18 with the arrest of Jennings Orlando just after he arrived back in Nairobi hoping things had cooled off.

The General Service Unit officer was however released unconditionally by Senior Principal Magistrate Stella Atambo, after one of the detectives in the investigative team told the court to release the officer. The suspect was ordered to report to DCI headquarters every Wednesday for the next two months.

The case will be heard on June 18 to 27, 2019 with Justice James Wakiaga being at the centre of it all.

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