The attempted murder of former Garissa Finance executive Idriss Mukhtar was planned by Governor Ali Korane’s cousin, police sources told the Star yesterday.
It emerged that there was a plot to eliminate Mukhtar and a city-based lawyer on suspicion they planned to challenge Korane’s academic qualifications.
The revelation emerged last evening as police in Nairobi wrapped up investigations. Mukhtar was shot at a shopping mall in Kileleshwa nine days ago.
Seven suspects are in police custody. They are Korane, his cousin, a Garissa-based contractor and three men believed to be the hired assassins from Dandora.
Police yesterday conducted a fresh round of questioning.
In February, the University of Nairobi disowned a master’s degree that Korane claimed to have been awarded by the institution in 2011.
In a letter to Musyoka Murambi & Associates dated January 30, the university said the governor was not its graduate. This put the county boss under the radar of the EACC.
Korane’s cousin hatched Mukhtar’s murder plot, the sources said. The man is said to have contracted three men based in Dandora to shoot Mukhtar, they added.
Korane was the latest suspect to be arrested by the police. He was picked yesterday from his Kilimani home by Flying Squad officers. This came after a nightlong search at his homes in Nairobi and restaurants in Kilimani.
The officers last evening recovered a Toyota Allion believed to have been used by hired assassins. The vehicle was traced to a garage in Ngara where it was being repainted from grey to red.
The registration number was also changed from the initial KBQ to KCR, an indication of a major coverup. Mechanics told investigators the car was brought last Sunday by a man of Somali. Police had yet to trace him by last evening. He had told the mechanics to spruce up the car with a new coat of paint, they told the detectives.
Initially, the man wanted the car painted grey but on Tuesday morning, he called the owner of the garage and asked to have it painted red. It was still being worked on when the police stormed the garage yesterday afternoon.
Korane was held for the better part of the day at the Nairobi DCI offices where he was scheduled to record statements.
Forensic investigators from the DCI also examined three mobile phones owned by the former District Commissioner.
By press time, police were still holding the governor. There were high-level talks between police chiefs on whether to release him on bond or detain him.
A highly placed source familiar with the goings-on said police investigations had linked the governor’s cousin to the murder plot but were yet to find concrete evidence to place Korane to the planning or financing.
“What we know is that people close to the governor planned and financed the crime. We want to know what he knows about it,” a detective said.
Mukhtar is still at Nairobi Hospital in critical condition. He had been awarded Sh50 million compensation by a Nairobi court after he was sacked from his position as Finance executive.
Last Sunday, the Nairobi-based lawyer, not named, had scheduled a press briefing at the Kilimani police station but called it off after consulting with Mukhtar’s family.