The Star (Nairobi)

11 December 2012

Kenya: Cop Suspects Foul Play in Mercy Keino's Death

A police officer who picked the body of former university student Mercy Keino by the roadside in June last year has told a public inquest that he suspected foul play.

Thomas Obongi said yesterday that it could be possible Mercy was killed elsewhere and her body dumped on Waiyaki Way in Nairobi on the night of June 17 last year.

The officer told the inquiry before magistrate P. Ndwiga sitting at Milimani law courts that the impression that led him to suspect foul play was the fact that " key things that one would expect to find in a normal road accident scene" were missing. He said he did not find Mercy's personal belongings at the scene.

The officer, who was the first to arrive at the scene, told court that it was suspicious that there was "no pool of blood "at the scene and that mercy's shoes and handbag were missing "

The officer said when he realised something was amiss, he searched for more clues on that night. "There was minimal blood, part of her skull and part of her brains were missing. I went searching for about 100 metres and I did not see blood on both sides of the road. I could not also find the point of impact", he said during cross-examination.

Mercy was last seen alive at Wasini Luxury Homes in Westlands, Nairobi, where she had accompanied a relative, Scholastic Namwai, to a party hosted by Juja MP William Kabogo.

She is said to have been drunk and out of control during the party. She allegedly "started misbehaving when she got drunk". In September, Two witnesses claimed that she was slapped by the Mp after she broke several glasses and picture frames. Her dismembered body was later found on Nairobi's Waiyaki Way after she had left the home that night.

Among those probed following her death were Kabogo, his alleged body guards, Wycliffe Lugwiri a businessman whose car was linked to the murder. Kabogo is expected to give evidence at the hearing later. The MP was questioned by police, but they did not find anything to link him to the post- Graduate student death. An official cause of her death has indicated that her body had been crushed after being run over by vehicles.

Yesterday, Obongi who is stationed at Parklands police station graphically described the scene of the accident to the court. He told court that he arrived at the scene at about 4.30 am.

At the scene, near St Marks ACK Church, the girl's body lied horizontally with the head near the road. Both legs and hands were broken, her intestine were protruding out while her skull was smashed.

"I moved around to see if the skull had been smashed elsewhere but I could not find anything. The blood was not much which made me walk around to see if I could get the actual scene of the accident." Obongi explained.

"There was minimal blood, it also looked like the body had been rolled over, I could not establish the point of impact". He said. In addition, the officer said having carefully looked at the scene he concluded that it was a tragic road accident.

When asked by state lawyer Moses Omirera if it was possible the deceased could have been killed somewhere else and her body damped on the spot, the officer replied yes.But he admitted that no one could back his claims.

During cross examination by lawyer Stanley Kangai and Nick Ndichu who are both acting for Kabogo , Obongi said although it was mandatory to be accompanied by another officer, he was alone that night. He said was helped to secure the scene by a break down operator. Hearing continues today.

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