Crime scene

The officer, who hailed from Wajir, was reported to have gone missing on Thursday. His phone had been switched off and he could not be reached.

| File

Body of Embu-based DCI officer found in Baringo

A family has positively identified one of three people whose bodies were dumped off the Kabarnet-Iten road as an officer with the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI).

The male bodies with visible injuries were separately retrieved on Saturday and Sunday - one in Kolol in Elgeyo-Marakwet County and the rest in Kapsigorian in Baringo.

It was established that the body found in Kolol on Saturday evening is that of Abdulrahim Adow, a security officer with the DCI in Embu County.

A sombre mood engulfed the Iten hospital morgue, with family members wondering why their relative had to die in such circumstances.

The officer, who hailed from Wajir, was reported to have gone missing on Thursday. His phone had been switched off and he could not be reached.

Abdikadir Adow, the late officer’s brother, said he had made several visits to government offices, including the DCI headquarters in Nairobi.

The vehicle that the slain officer was using, the family said, was found in Isiolo County and was towed to the Isiolo Police Station.

“I went to the DCI offices … to report his disappearance but I was told to stop looking for someone who was at work, only to be informed by a relative in Baringo County that his body had been found dumped in Kolol in Elgeyo Marakwet, hundreds of kilometres away,” Mr Adow said.

The body, he said, was in a bad state, with injuries all over it and the hands tied up.

“The limbs were also broken. The police are not helpful to us either yet our brother was one of them. We wonder why he had to be killed in such a manner,” he added.

Abdilhaziz Abdullahi demanded justice and asked that the police get to the bottom of the matter.

Zeinab Deka Hussein, the officer’s widow, said he had informed her on Thursday morning that he had left Embu for Mombasa on an official assignment, saying that he was already on the Isiolo highway at the time.

“I was perturbed that his decomposing body was found dumped in Kolol, yet he was heading to Mombasa,” she said.

“I am still shocked and I demand justice. He was always worried that many people knew his vehicle, which he was not comfortable with.”

She added: “The scanty information I have is that he was in the company of one Otieno, a colleague.”

Unknown adult

Iten hospital medical superintendent Benjamin Kimaile said they received the heavily bruised body at around 7pm on Saturday. It was brought by detectives based in the area.

Police records show that the incident was reported at 4.30pm by the Tambach assistant chief after children collecting firewood stumbled on it.

Officers from the Tambach Police Station and detectives went to the scene and established that the body of an unknown adult aged about 40 was lying in a ravine.

The body was half-naked, with only an undergarment, and had strangulation marks in the neck.

In Kapsigorian, Baringo Central, the bodies of two naked middle-aged men were found dumped off the Kabarnet-Iten road.

The decomposing bodies, which lay a short distance from the road and metres apart, had visible bruises all over them, with one completely naked while the other had only an undergarment on.

The eyes of one of them had been gouged out while a hand on the other body was missing.

Hundreds of locals and motorists thronged the area to catch a glimpse of the bodies. The two men were suspected to have been killed elsewhere and the bodies dumped in the area.

Baringo County Assembly Speaker David Kiplagat, who happened to be driving on that route, condemned the incident and urged police to investigate the deaths.

“The stench along the road is unbearable. We have been hearing of such incidents happening elsewhere and we are shocked that the heinous acts are now moving closer home,” he said.

“The state of the bodies indicates that they were tortured before being killed and they have started to decompose.”

Baringo County criminal investigation officer Joseph Mumira confirmed that the two bodies had no identification documents on them to establish who they were.

“The well-built persons had been dumped along the road at a bushy area and one was still fresh while the other had started to decompose. One had a missing hand and one had a bruised face, an indication that he had been tortured,” Mr Mumira said.

The bodies, the officer said, were moved to Baringo County Referral Hospital in Kabarnet and the process of taking their fingerprints for identification has started.

“We do not have any report of a missing person at the Kabarnet Police Station and we are relying on the fingerprints,” he added.

The incidents come against the backdrop of killings in the North Rift, with human rights activists describing them as extrajudicial.

On January 20 last year, the bodies of Paul Kosgei (human resource officer, TSC Tiaty), Nelson Kordado (primary school headteacher), Brian Silale (IEBC official), David Kukat (medical student), Kanga Siareng (businessman) and an unidentified young man who was said to be a boda boda rider were discovered in a thicket in Araba riddled with gunshot wounds.

The discovery came after they were allegedly bundled into a Toyota Land Cruiser by plainclothes officers in Chemlingot in Tiaty sub-county.

Autopsies carried out by county pathologist Wangari Wambugu revealed that the men were killed in a similar manner, each with gunshot wounds in their heads.

“The pattern of the injuries was similar and all had multiple gunshot wounds ranging from six to 10 shots but the fatal wounds were to the head, which were blown off and they were either at contact or close range,” Dr Wambugu said.

She noted that there were also multiple gunshot injuries to various parts of the bodies and most of them were from the back side.

Condemned the killings

“Apart from the gunshots, there were also other injuries on their bodies including incision wounds and some of them had fractures on their hands which had been twisted. It seems that they were tortured before they died,” she explained.

Human rights activist David Kuria, who was witnessing the autopsies on behalf of the Independent Medico Legal Unit, condemned the killings and appealed to the government to investigate them.

“We want the families of the slain people to get justice because the postmortem has revealed that they were tortured before being shot dead. Proper investigations should be carried out to ascertain why they had to die in such a manner,” Mr Kuria said.

The killings coincided with an intensive security operation in the area to seize illegal guns and flush out armed criminals, after a GSU operation commander, Emadau Tabakol, was killed in Ameyan, near the volatile Kapedo.

In February 2017, Loyamorok Ward Representative Fredrick Cheretei and Tiaty parliamentary aspirant Simon Pepee Kitambaa were shot dead at a nightclub in Marigat by armed criminals.

The two politicians from Tiaty sub-county were shot dead by hooded gunmen.

The same year, an MCA from Tiaty sub-county went missing and his body was found four days later.

Churo/Amaya ward MCA Thomas Minito was reportedly approached by three people at a hotel in Kabarnet when he was having lunch with a female government official from Tiaty.

The body of the MCA was found floating in the River Athi, Machakos County, just under the Donyo Sabuk bridge. It had an injury in the head caused by a blunt object.

Reports indicated that the body was retrieved and a paper in his coat pocket bore his name.

A vehicle belonging to the MCA was also torched. The windscreen of the other vehicle belonging to the parliamentary aspirant was shattered.

In July 2018, Silale Ward Representative Nelson Lotela was reportedly abducted on the Nginyang' road in Tiaty by people who identified themselves as police officers.

The MCA was heading home from the Chemolingot trading centre. The purported security officers ordered him to disembark from his vehicle and bundled him into a saloon car.

Mr Lotela's driver, who was with him at the time of the incident, positively identified the vehicle and went to report the matter at the Nginyang' Police Station.

Luckily, Mr Lotela was found the following morning dumped in a maize plantation in Sobea, in neighbouring Nakuru County, by Good Samaritans, who took him to Kabarak University Health Centre.

In May 2019, the bodies of two men were discovered in the Sabor forest in Keiyo South constituency in the morning by athletes out for high-altitude training.

The bodies had gunshot wounds to the heads and their hands were tied with ropes.

Two other men were found alive with serious gunshot injuries a few metres away.

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