Garissa Governor Ali Korane was Tuesday arrested in connection with the shooting of a former county minister last week.
Idriss Aden Muktar, the county executive in the administration of former governor Nathif Jama, was last Monday shot in the head outside a Nairobi hotel.
Police say his assailants trailed him to his car and shot him at close range.
He survived and remains admitted to hospital.
He had left a nearby mosque for his house when the gangsters opened fire.
Governor Korane was arrested Tuesday morning as he left his house at around 5am.
Detectives are said to have camped overnight outside the governor’s house in Nairobi’s Kileleshwa estate.
Three other suspects being quizzed over the attack claimed the county boss played a role, according to police sources.
Convoy of cars
The governor was taken to the Nairobi Area Police Station at 8.30 am in a convoy of police cars. He was interviewed for the better part of the day and was still at the station by 5 pm.
Journalists and others were locked out, and only lawyers and VIPs were allowed past the gate.
Nairobi County Criminal Investigations Officer Nicholas Kamwende led the team interviewing the suspects.
The suspects in custody include a man accused of shooting Mr Muktar and a woman who is said to have hired the car used to trail him.
News of the governor’s arrest caused anxiety in Garissa, as people from the governor’s backyard claimed he was being persecuted for political reasons.
A statement attributed to the county government’s media team alleged a plot to malign the governor’s name for political reasons.
“Ordinarily, Mr Korane would not bear grudges whatsoever against former employees of the county government. The employees had actually sued the previous county government and not Mr Korane.
The media should clearly see there is a big difference between making a police statement and being arrested,” said the statement.
An elder in Garissa, Mohamud Abdi, said the governor’s arrest was “shocking.”
“He would have been a person least expected to be in this incident,” he said. “We want justice to prevail. Shooting someone in the head is not a joke.”
Garissa-based human rights activist Khalif Abdi said police should not leave any stone unturned in unravelling the mystery behind the shooting of the former Finance executive.
“The family of Mr Muktar is crying for justice. It was a heinous act of attempted murder. We want the police to ensure justice is served,” he said in Garissa on Tuesday.
Mr Muktar was sacked together with three others during Mr Jama’s reign. They, however, challenged their sacking in court. The three won their cases and were awarded more than Sh50 million in damages. Mr Korane’s administration has appealed the case.
Additional reporting by Stella Cherono