Members of the public played a huge role in the rescue of Hafsa Mohammed Lukman, the kidnap victim who was abducted on Tuesday, June 15.
Hafsa was lured by her friend who said she wanted to go into a business partnership selling watermelons at the Kayole junction.
After short prayers at her clothing shop in Kamukunji Trading Centre, they left for her friend’s house, not far from the shop, when Hafsa was abducted by two men.
Earlier on Friday, June 11, the female suspect had sought a house in Kayole and told a caretaker she wanted to rent it.
The suspect, identified as Hafsa Abdulwahab, returned on Tuesday to pay for the house located about 400 metres from Kayole Police Station. She withdrew money using the victim’s phone and paid Sh7,000 rent, then bought electricity tokens worth Sh1,000.
The three suspects then took Ms Hafsa Mohammed to the two-bedroom house in a 210-litre water tank.
According to police, the tank was dropped by a black car, which police are still looking for. The three suspects were also seen taking the tank into the house.
Residents said Ms Hafsa’s friend and one of her accomplices looked like a couple.
“I thought they were a couple being helped by a friend to move into the house. They walked in holding hands with the other guy beside them or following them as they returned in the evening,” said a water vendor.
When she was alone, Hafsa would often scream for help, but her abductors had left loud music playing in the house.
Someone finally heard her scream on Sunday night. Hafsa had also managed to peep through a crack in the window and asked a child who was passing by to help her.
“There was nothing out of the ordinary until I heard a woman screaming in the house at around 3 am on Sunday morning. I suspected it was a domestic fight, but woke up hours later to hear her still screaming, and just as I was beginning to think about what could be happening, a child told us that there was someone calling for help out of the house,” said a neighbour.
A boda boda rider who had stopped by as neighbours milled around the house showed them a video and pictures of the woman, which had been aired on TV stations reporting her abduction and they called the police.
The detectives broke into the house at around 10 am on Sunday and rescued her.
Police also found an exercise book with the phone number of one of their accomplices, said to be in Thika, written: “contact this number”. It is that number that they used to contact the victim’s family on WhatsApp and demand the ransom.
The detectives also arrested one suspect, 24-year-old Cyrus Ndung’u Njogu who is being held at Buruburu police station.
The Buruburu DCI office on Monday obtained orders at the Makadara Law Courts to detain Njogu for 10 days as investigations continue.