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Police boss accused of aiding ‘imposter’ gets his job back

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By JOSEPH OPENDA

Former Rift Valley Provincial Police Officer John M’Mbijiwe, who was recently cleared of abuse of office charges, has got his job back.

The National Police Service Commission (NPSC) – through a letter dated June 17 – approved the lifting of Mr M’Mbijiwe’s interdiction imposed in 2013 following his arrest and arraignment in connection with his role in facilitating Mr Joshua Waiganjo, who was accused of masquerading as a senior police officer.

Mr M’Mbijiwe’s reinstatement comes almost a month after he was acquitted of abuse of office charges he battled for eight years.

NEW POSITION

In the letter, the NPSC further re-designated Mr M’Mbijiwe’s position from deputy commissioner of police to assistant Inspector-General of Police.

“The NPSC, vide the letter referenced NPSC/1/8/3/vol vii (25) dated June 17, 2020, approved the lifting of your interdiction with effect from January 7, 2013,” reads the letter signed by Deputy Inspector-General of Police Edward Mbugua.

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Mr M’Mbijiwe and former Anti Stock Theft Unit Police Commander Remi Ngugi (who has since died) were charged with at least four counts of abuse of office.

Mr M’Mbijiwe was said to have protected Mr Waiganjo as he allegedly masqueraded as a senior police officer and allowed him to fly in police helicopters and use official vehicles at will.

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Particulars of the charge sheet indicated that he, on November 23, 2012, being a person employed by the public service as a police officer at the Provincial Offices in Nakuru, arbitrarily instructed the Officer Commanding West Pokot Police Station David Wambua to open a personal police reservist file for Mr Waiganjo to show that he was a police reservist, in what the prosecutors argued was abuse of office.

NO SUFFICIENT EVIDENCE

While delivering his ruling, Resident Magistrate Joe Omido said the prosecution did not provide sufficient evidence to establish a prima facie case against any of the three suspects to place them on their defence.

“If the accused persons were to be placed on their defence on any of the charges that they are faced with, there will be no basis upon which any of them can be convicted on any of these charges if they were to offer nothing in defence,” ruled Mr Omido.

The court declared the charges against Mr M’Mbijiwe and Mr Ngugi defective after the prosecution failed to prove that Mr Waiganjo was a fake police officer.

After the ruling, Mr M’Mbijiwe said he had been innocent all along, claiming that his enemies had framed him to see him dismissed after serving for only four months.

FORGIVEN ENEMIES

“I have forgiven my enemies, who are less than five. They framed me but God has stood with me. My testimony today will come from the book of Acts 16:16-23,” said Mr M’Mbijiwe.

For his part, Mr Waiganjo revealed plans to sue for damages following what he said was unlawful arrest and prosecution.

Speaking to the Nation a week after his acquittal, Mr Waiganjo said he is planning to take on senior officers in the police service who he claims had maliciously tried to fix him.

He said he will be seeking compensation for the illegal arrest that led to his suffering and public embarrassment for eight years.

NO DISCHARGE LETTER

Mr Waiganjo wants to have the officers involved in his arrest, including former Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere and former Independent Policing Oversight Authority chairman Johnston Kavuludi, held liable for his predicament.

“I want to know why the former deputy CID director ordered my arrest, why the arresting officers refused to testify in the case and why Mr Iteere disowned me in court,” said Mr Waiganjo.

During the hearing, Mr Iteere – who claimed Mr Waiganjo was once a police reservist before being discharged in 2004 – had an appointment letter but could not produce a discharge letter.

DIRECT CONTACT

He also denied knowing or meeting Mr Waiganjo yet other witnesses claimed he had direct contact with the then police commissioner.

The arresting officers also refused to testify in the case.

The prosecution team led by Ms Sandra Kosgey told the court that four police officers, namely Superintendent of Police Fatuma Abdi, Gideon Kimilu, Joseph Ngisa and Jonathan Napikwe, had jointly investigated the case.

National Police Service Spokesman Charles Owino and the National Police Service Commission Chairman Eliud Kinuthia did not immediately respond to our enquiries on Saturday about the reinstatement.



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