You are currently viewing Court Update – #145. CF 74/2020 Kibera Court – Republic vs. Thomas Muhoro Ngatia and two others 55 kg ivory

Court Update – #145. CF 74/2020 Kibera Court – Republic vs. Thomas Muhoro Ngatia and two others 55 kg ivory

March 14th, 2023: Cash bail withdrawn to depositor as accused in custody serving a 2 year sentence re 112 kg of ivory.  Next hearing still scheduled for April 12th.


  • On January 14th, 2020, at approximately 16:30hr, investigators of the Kenya Wildlife Service while acting on a tip, stopped a Mazda vehicle travelling on Nariobi’s Eastern Bypass.
  • The vehicle was searched and 28 pieces of cut ivory tusks were found in sisal bags.
  • The two occupants, Thomas Muhoro Ngatia and Joel Kariuki Njeru, were arrested and charged.
  • A third accomplice, Daniel Muya, was arrested on February 19th and charged accordingly.
  • The first accused, Thomas Muhoro Ngatia, had been previously arrested in March 2016 and found with 112 kg of ivory.  Investigators at the time stated that Ngatia was linked to an ivory cartel.  
  • Ngatia was found guilty on November 24th, 2022 by Senior Resident Magistrate E. Riany. He was sentenced to two years jail without a fine option. Two years is below what is written in statute.

#145 is a number assigned indicating this seizure has a link(s) to the West African cartel and its ivory was not DNA analysed.

Court Updates

Hon. Ann Mwangi – Chief Magistrate  Court 1

State Counsel: 


  1. Accused #1: Thomas Muhoro Ngatia
  2. Accused #2: Joel Kariuki Njeru
  3. Accused #3:  Daniel Wachira Muya


Count 1: Dealing with wildlife trophy of an endangered species without a permit or other lawful exemption contrary to Section 92(2) as read with Section 105(1)(a) of the WMCA 2013.

Count 2: Being in possession of a trophy of endangered wildlife species without a permit or other lawful exemption contrary to Section 92(4) as read with Section 105(1)(a)of the WMCA 2013.

March 14th, 2023 (Mention): The purpose of this unscheduled mention was to confirm the withdrawal of the depositor of cash bail (whole amount) for Muhoro Ngatia who is now in custody on a two year sentence for dealing in 112 kg of ivory. The accused was the only of the three in court, did not object to the request and the application by his cash bail depositor was allowed by Court.  Next hearing still scheduled for April 12th.
February 1st, 2023 (Hearing): The sitting magistrate was on training and there was no court. It was also learned that the prosecutor for this court has been transferred to Machakos.  This hearing has been adjourned to April 12th.
November 16th, 2022 (Hearing):  Two prosecution witnesses were due to testify but the arresting officer was not present. The prosecution went ahead with a ‘scene of crimes’ officer, She testified that she took photos of the exhibits at KWS Headquarters after the arrest.  Adjourned to February 1st for the hearing to continue.
September 21st, 2022 (Hearing): No attendance
August 1st, 2022: (Hearing) This was scheduled for hearing.  The witness to testify was the investigating officer (IO).  At the time the hearing was to happen, the IO was still testifying in another ivory case in Court 9 so the case was adjourned to September 21st.
The first two accused were arraigned on January 27th, 2020.  The third accused, Daniel Wachira Muya, not until February 20th, 2020.
Due to resource challenges, as well as Covid, this case has not been followed closely post arraignment. It can be said, however, that up to the August 1st, 2022 hearing, this case has been sitting on at least 18 previous occasions.
FILE 74/2020
SEIZURE DATE January 14th, 2020
LOCATION Eastern Bypass, Nairobi
ACCUSED Thomas Muhoro Ngatia, Joel Kariuki Njeru, Daniel Wachira Muya
CHARGED Possession and Dealing with Wildlife Trophies
COURT Kibera
VALUE (CHARGE SHEET) Ksh 5.5 Million
TRANSPORT Mazda Reg: KUU 955
INTEL_PERSONS OF INTEREST Thomas Muroro Ngatia had been arrested previously in March 22, 2016 and found with 112 kg of ivory in his home. The home had previously rented by Fredrick James Muchina, known to be involved in the ivory and rhino horn trade. Muchina was shot to death in an ambush in January 2016.


May 28th, 2021: Set for hearing, it was found that the IO (Investigating Officer) had been transferred and was unavailable. Adjourned to September 30th for hearing:

September 30th, 2021:



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