Puzzle of Kilimani Bad Boy: From Saving Kabogo to Having 22 Guns at Home

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    ATPU officer arrested a terror suspect at Likoni Channel, Mombasa on Monday, August 23, 2021
  • Nairobi businessman, Ken Lugwili, who was nabbed with a cache of military guns stocked at his high-end apartment in the upmarket Kilimani estate is among a few top individuals who made had run-ins with the law for over 16 years.

    Despite lying low, concealing his lavish lifestyle which is dominated by fleet of flashy cars and wads of money, he has made headlines a number of times all but for the wrong reasons.

    Lugwili's run-ins with the police paint a picture of someone who is well-connected posing as a reclusive businessman in the motor industry.

     The businessman has a long and common thread of ongoing court cases ranging from fraud cases, land grabbing, fake gold, and even dealings in counterfeit money.

    Military-grade weapons during a raid at an office in Kilimani on Tuesday, June 21, 2022.
    Military-grade weapons during a raid at an office in Kilimani on Tuesday, June 21, 2022.

    His controversies have now lasted for more than a decade with law enforcement officers referring to him using different names.

    The businessman first grabbed national attention after he was accused of impersonating the late President Mwai Kibaki's aide Alfred Gitonga. This was mentioned in a court case on September 9, 2003, where he was accused of trying to defraud several businessmen. 

    The court found him guilty slapping him with a nine-year jail term. However, his sentence was translated to three years in prison because they were to run concurrently.

    That imprisonment did not however stop him from continuing with his criminal activities. In October 2003, he was again roped in another fraud case where he was accused of trying to defraud a former Pipeline manager Ksh20,000. The charge saw him added another two years behind bars.

    Eight years later in 2011, the Nairobi businessman again crowned his activities in the city after he was featured in the news cycle for surrendering to cops regarding the murder of Mercy Keino. The details regarding the case remained scanty as preliminary investigations indicated that his car was allegedly used to dump Keino on Waiyaki Way after being murdered somewhere else.

    Former Kiambu Governor William Kabogo was adversely mentioned in the case after it emerged that he had hosted Keino at Wasini Luxury Homes in Westlands, Nairobi County before the ordeal. Preliminary reports had indicated that Kabogo clashed with the then-student at the University of Nairobi. It was also widely alleged that Keino might have been murdered at the party in which the lawmaker was in attendance.

    Principal magistrate Peter Ndwiga then summoned the former governor to appear in court regarding the case. However, four days later, Lugwili's story changed the dynamics of the case. He admitted that his car had knocked her down and further stated that he was willing to cooperate with the detectives.

    Lugwili's confession saved Kabogo and shifted attention to him regarding the late Keino's case.

    "The witnesses have been uncooperative, they do not pick their phones when we try to reach them and fail to honour our appointments whenever we send someone," the state counsel told the court forcing the court to summon Kabogo.

    On February 13, 2018, he was accused of changing the ownership details of the property which was valued at Ksh3 million in 1993. Intervention by the court stopped him from kicking our a couple from their land.

    A year later, the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) shared a report on May 5, 2019, linking him to the fake currency that was seized in the Kilimani estate.

    The statement indicated that he was among the syndicate linked to minting fake currency after Ksh190 million counterfeit US dollars were nabbed. The case is still active in court.

    The discovery of 22 guns followed a raid to supervise his eviction from an apartment in Kilimani where he had reportedly accrued rent arrears amounting to Ksh4.9 million.

    "Officers discovered among other items; nine Escort magnum short guns, one Benelli short gun, five guatro short guns, one savage short gun, six pistols with two magazines, ten sniper torches, nine double magazine carriers, and 25 pistol holsters," the police statement read in part.

    Despite reports indicating that Lugwili is a licensed firearm owner, he is expected to be grilled by the Anti Terror Police Unit before a conclusive report is issued to the public following his surrender.

    A file image of the DCI heaquarters along Kiambu road.
    A file image of the DCI heaquarters along Kiambu road
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