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Police officers charged with murder of 20-year-old man in police cell

By Mireri Junior | June 4th 2021

Initial police reports indicated Mark Lumbasi had hanged himself while in police custody. [Courtesy]

Two officers have been arraigned at Machakos High Court to face murder charges following the death of a 20-year-old man at a police cell in Matungulu, Machakos county.

Cornelius Ndambuki and Erick Odhiambo attached to KBC Police Station in Matungulu were arrested following the direction by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) that they be charged with the murder of Mark Lumbasi.

Ndambuki and Odhiambo face murder charges after Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) detectives and the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) said they had a case to answer after investigations.

Initial police reports indicated Lumbasi had hanged himself while in police custody, but the family contested the same.

According to the family members who went to check on Lumbasi’s body at Kangundo District Hospital Mortuary, they became suspicious after they found the deceased’s had his hands tied at his back and his mouth was stuffed with his torn shirt, foil paper, and a face mask.

Ezekiel Natala, the brother to the deceased, said his brother had two kilogrammes of papers stuffed in his mouth wondering how he could hang himself and at the same time stuff papers into his mouth.

Post-mortem reports showed Lumbasi was tortured before being killed in the police cell in Machakos County.

The examination, conducted at the City Mortuary in Nairobi, concluded that he died from homicidal hanging after being injured on various parts of his body, including his private parts.

“As a result of my examination, I formed the opinion that the cause of death was suffocation due to neck compression secondary to homicidal hanging. Other significant findings are multiple generalised contusions,” stated the report signed by doctors led by chief government pathologist, Dr Johansen Oduor.

Lumbasi was arrested along Kangundo Road on March 8 for allegedly stealing building materials.

A few days later the family was called to go pick the body of their kin with police saying he hanged himself.

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