The drama that lasted for several hours today characterized the grilling of former Mungiki leader Maina Njenga before he was finally released.
The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) boss Mohammed Amin on Thursday, March 25, 2023, said Njenga was released as he had been issued anticipatory bail.
“We respect court orders on the bail and he has been released,” Amin said.
Njenga had on Wednesday surrendered himself to the Nakuru court and then the police summoned him to report to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) headquarters in Nairobi for grilling.
He was to be grilled in connection to the recovery of two illegal guns and 90 rolls of bhang, which he denies.
Njenga arrived at DCI Nairobi in the company of his lawyers led by Ndegwa Njiru, Eugene Wamalwa, Jeremiah Kioni, George Wajakoya, Martha Karua among other Azimio leaders including former Murang’a governor Mwangi Wa Iria.
He was grilled for about three hours before detectives drove away with him from the headquarters, claiming that they were headed for court in Nanyuki.
To confuse his lawyers, some officers claimed that he was being taken to Nakuru while others said the ex-Mungiki leader was to be arraigned in Kiambu.
His lawyer Ndegwa Njiru confirmed that he was not at Kiambu courts as assumed earlier.
"I went to Kiambu law courts and my client was not there," he said.
Police had earlier clashed with Njenga’s supporters who had camped outside the DCI headquarters and dispersed them by lobbing teargas canisters.
At least four cars were damaged along Kiambu Road in the chaos that affected traffic flow.
Njenga had been taken to Nairobi Area offices where they detained him briefly before releasing him. His lawyers said he had been told to present himself in court on Monday, May 29.
Some political leaders condemned the police for being used by the government to harass Njenga to settle political scores.
Jubilee Secretary General Jeremiah Kioni termed the accusations against Njenga as harassment and a political witchhunt.
"Njenga was lied to. We were consulting. Then the DCI called him to consult with him but they blocked the lawyers who wanted to join him, " he said.
Kioni said Njenga was not allowed to take a plea in Nakuru on Wednesday and that he was being asked to take a plea yesterday, Thursday.
“This is a political war and police are being used to fight them and especially in Mt Kenya. We will not be intimidated,” Kioni said.
NARC-Kenya party leader Martha Karua said there were supremacy wars in the Central region and some politicians want to force Njenga to support them.
“DCI officers this afternoon demonstrated thuggery instead of professionalism by using trickery to separate Maina Njenga from his lawyers who included several Azimio principals and sneaking him out of DCI offices Kiambu road to an undisclosed destination. The DCI is violating Maina Njenga’s right to legal representation and we fear they will prejudice his rights to a fair trial,” Karua said.
Wamalwa said he had joined his fellow lawyers during the appearance of Njenga to answer summons but were shocked by the police brutality and unprofessionalism when their client was snatched away and his supporters tear-gassed
“We condemn weaponization of the criminal justice system and the misuse of the police by the government to settle political scores and intimidate Azimio leaders like Gaucho and Maina Njenga,” he said.
Njenga has attributed his tribulations to bad politics, maintaining that he has never owned a gun nor used bhang in his life.
“This is politics. Police are lying and they should not be used in such games. The President should not allow such issues in this era. It's politics and especially in our region,” Njenga said.
One of the firearms police claimed to have recovered was a home-made pistol capable of firing while the other one was a Tokarev whose serial number had been defaced.
On May 12, police also raided his homes in Nairobi and Nyahururu saying they were looking for him.
Njenga said the teams, which arrived simultaneously at 4 am at his Nakuru, Lavington, Karen and Nyandarua homes, told workers they were looking for him.
Azimio leaders have claimed the raids were meant to stop Njenga from attending the funeral of Dedan Kimathi’s wife, Field Marshal Mukami Kimathi on May 13 in Njabini, Kinangop.
He however attended the funeral in the company of Azimio leader Raila Odinga. He was manhandled as he tried to access the main tent where the funeral attended by President William Ruto was taking place.