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Lawyer whose hands were chopped dies

By Zadock Angira
Monday, October 19th, 2020
The late Onesmus Masaku. He was attacked and cut on both hands by Constable Nancy Njeri in his house in unclear circumstances. Photo/PD/File
In summary
    • Preliminary report indicated that the female officer could have gone to Onesmus Masaku’s  house with an intention of attacking him over love affairs.
    • Detectives who visited the scene said there was evidence of struggle as there were blood stains both on the walls and the table.

The Makueni-based lawyer who was brutally attacked by a female policewoman on October 7  succumbed to injuries yesterday.

Onesmus Masaku died in the morning while undergoing treatment at Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH). 

He was attacked and cut on both hands by Constable Nancy Njeri in his house in unclear circumstances.

After the attack, the lawyer was rushed to Makueni Referral Hospital but the Medical Superintendent Joseph Masila, said the injuries were severe and later transferred him to KNH for specialised treatment after his condition deteriorated.

Law Society of Kenya (LSK) council member Carolyne Mutheu and the South Eastern representative Justus Mutia yesterday confirmed that their colleague had died.

Constable Njeri was taken to court where detectives were granted 14 days to detain her as they complete investigations.

She is being held at Makueni Police Station and was expected in court on October 23 to face the charge of attempted murder.

Detectives will now substitute the charge with murder. After the attack, her colleagues attempted to shield her from blame in vain.

Constable Njeri had claimed that she went to the lawyer’s house on his invitation.

Constable Nancy Njeri. Photo/Courtesy

She further claimed that while in the house, Masaku attempted to rape her but she grabbed a panga that was in the house to defend herself.

 She cut the deceased on both hands. According to eye witnesses who recorded statements with the police, the deceased went home alone at around 6.30pm.

Later, neighbours said they heard him crying for help as the female officer was seen running downstairs. She was escaping but the caretaker managed to close the gate.

Personal car 

Njeri was later picked by the station OCS in his personal car, leaving the lawyer injured in the house.

Masaku was found in the house with his right hand loosely hanging.

The first report by the police suggested that Constable Njeri was the victim of attempted rape, and that her action, of attacking the lawyer, was merely for self-defence.

“She refused but the lawyer advanced to her and when she still refused the lawyer grabbed her and started forcing her into the bedroom,” the initial police report indicated.

“This prompted the officer to grab a panga and cut him on both hands before escaping,” the report added.

Police noted that the officer sustained a bite on the right ear and hands. Both went to Makueni Referral Hospital but the lady was discharged.

The station later submitted another ‘progress report’ to the police headquarters indicating that detectives had visited the scene and established that the deceased was savagely injured by the officer. 

“The scene was revisited and it was established that Onesmus Masaku was seriously injured by Constable Nancy Njeri with a panga, which was recovered from the scene,” the report read.

Investigations were launched and preliminary report indicated that the female officer could have gone to the lawyer’s house with an intention of attacking him over love affairs.

Detectives who visited the scene said there was evidence of struggle as there were blood stains both on the walls and the table.

Following the attack, LSK condemned the incident and asked the Independent Policing Oversight Authority to investigate the matter.

“Police in Makueni are complicit in the attempted murder of lawyer Onesmus Masaku by police woman Nancy Njeri.

The two are known lovers and Njeri attempted to kill him after he refused to accede to her demands for marriage,” LSK President Nelson Havi said a day after the attack.

Following the pressures from different quarters and revelations by those who knew the relationship between the lawyer and the officer, police submitted another report indicating that the officer had been arrested.

The third report read: “Following a serious injury incident of one Onesmus Madaku, a lawyer at Makueni Law Courts by Constable Nancy Njeri, the officer has been arrested and will be arraigned in court with the offence of ‘attempted murder.”

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