An accomplice in the March 2018 murder of businessman Kassim Jiraw aka Sokorow stunned a Mombasa Court while narrating how they killed him.
Mr Jiraw on March, 8 had left Nairobi for Malindi through Mombasa to collect his money from Eddlied Mandi Jilani after a tender deal failed to materialise.
Ms Mandi Jilani, who works with a devolved unit at the Coast, had asked the city businessman to meet her in Malindi town, Kilifi County, where the deal would be struck.
THE SET UP
Unbeknownst to the deceased Mr Jiraw, Ms Jilani had already premeditated his demise. She had approached three men: Ngira Karisa Charo, Makonde Ruwa Buni and Katana Karisa Charo whom she asked for help to eliminate the trader since she could not pay back the Sh9 million she owed him.
In a graphic testimony, Mr Ngira Charo narrated the events that followed Mr Jiraw’s arrival at the Coast and how they killed him in cold blood.
Ms Mandi reportedly sent Ngira and Mr Buni, who both reside in Kilifi, to pose as taxi operators and pick up Mr Jiraw in Mombasa’s Nyali suburb.
“She came to my house twice asking me to help her kill a man who was bothering her over a debt. I declined. Two days later, Mr Buni came and told me to accompany him to an unnamed place. Since he was my friend I complied as he had affirmed I would know where we were going later,” Ngira told the Mombasa court.
Ngira testified that as they left for Nyali, Ms Mandi called the businessman whom she referred to as “visitor” and informed him that two gentlemen would pick him up.
Ngira and Mr Buni duly picked the “visitor” and they set off for Malindi. During the journey back, the witness told the court that Mr Jiraw used his [Ngira] phone to communicate with the mastermind of the gruesome murder.
“They spoke in English. I didn’t [understand] what they talked about since I am not conversant in the language. But before I handed the phone to the businessman, Ms Mandi asked me if we had found the visitor,” said Ngira.
When they reached Mbuyu wa Kusema in Malindi, they stopped for about five minutes for the businessman to relieve himself.
“A few minutes later, Ms Mandi joined us. She arrived on a motorcyle. She greeted her visitor and they talked briefly before we proceeded with the journey. It was around 4 pm,” the witness said.
Ms Mandi took the co-driver’s seat with Ngira moving to the back seat directly behind the driver’s.
The journey took them to their next stop at Kibao Cha Gishi, where they picked up Ngira’s brother Katana Karisa Charo; he had a black polythene bag.
Ms Mandi took the wheel from there, exchanging seats with Mr Buni. The others occupied the back seat, with the visitor Mr Jiraw on the far left.
Like a scene from a Hollywood blockbuster, Ngira said Ms Mandi was now driving at a high speed.
“Buni then jumped on the businessman’s neck and started strangling him. He then put a rope around the visitor’s neck and ordered us to tighten it. As Buni strangled the businessman and held his hands, the two of us tightened the rope,” recalled Mr Ngira.
He told Resident Judge Erick Ogola that he had declined to tighten the rope but that the other two men threatened to kill him too, leaving him with “no option”.
“I had no option so I helped roll the rope and tighten it. The murder took five minutes. The deceased stopped breathing and kicking. Ms Mandi then took the deceased’s phone from his pocket and took a motorcycle back to Malindi town,” he said.
The accused then drove to a nearby hotel for an early supper, with the body in the back seat of the vehicle.
They also indulged in some palm wine as they waited for the sun to set so they could dispose of the evidence.
Ngira said they left the hotel at around 8 pm and drove for about 10 minutes to a thicket where they spent three hours disfiguring Mr Jiraw’s body.
“We stripped him naked. We left him only with underpants. Mr Buni poured three bottles of acid on the body then we placed it inside the black polythene bag and dumped it there. We spent about three hours pouring the acid on the body and doing everything [we could] to conceal the body,” he said.
They were all arrested days later, with police using phone signals to locate Ms Mandi’s house. They found her packing her belongings ready to evade the police dragnet.
For his testimony as the prosecution’s third witness, Ngira was sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment due to a plea bargain agreement with the State.
Mr Buni and Ms Mandi denied the murder charge and remain on trial. A manhunt is still ongoing for Ngira’s brother Katana.
The matter will continue on May 15 and 16.
Additional Reporting by Nation.co.ke