Nurses union official was tortured before he was killed, Eldoret court told
What you need to know:
- Ongeri was the Kisumu branch deputy chairman of the Kenya National Union of Nurses, (KNUN)
- His decomposing body was discovered in the forest by a herdsman after a search by his colleagues, friends, and family
- Eldoret High Court judge Reuben Nyakundi heard that the body had several bruises with deep injuries, indicating that he was tortured before being killed and dumped in the forest
- A herbalist from Uganda has since been charged with his killing
The body of Ferdinand Ongeri, who was an official of the nurses’ union who was found murdered in Kimondi forest in Nandi County three years ago, had several bruises, with deep cuts on the stomach and in the mouth, an Eldoret court heard on Wednesday.
Kaptuywa area chief Emily Cherono, who was among the first government officials to visit the scene where the body was dumped, told Eldoret High Court judge Reuben Nyakundi that the body had several bruises with deep injuries indicating that he was tortured before being killed.
“When I visited the scene after receiving a report from a herdsman who found the body, I saw the body had several bruises with deep cuts on the stomach and in the mouth. In my opinion, the body was transported to the forest from somewhere else,” Ms Cherono told the court.
Ms Cherono, who was testifying in a case revolving around the heinous murder of the nurse told the court that the body was transported to the forest using a vehicle since there were tire prints at the spot where the body was found, about 100 metres away from Kapsabet-Kisumu road.
Ms Cherono further told the court that the naked body of Ongeri, 40, had already started decomposing.
Ongeri was the Kisumu branch deputy chairman of the Kenya National Union of Nurses, (KNUN).
“After seeing the body, I called the area OCS who came to the scene together with other police officers and took photographs of the scene before transferring the body to the county referral hospital mortuary in Kapsabet,” Ms Rono added.
Another witness, Mr Kennedy Okoth, told the court that he last saw Ongeri at work before he heard of his murder via social media.
Mr Okoth told the court that the last time they met was at their place of work, and Ongeri told him that he was heading to a meeting in town.
Mr Mawanda Asma, a herbalist from Uganda, has since been charged with the killing of Ongeri, which is said to have happened between July 24 and July 27, 2019, in Kimondi forest, Nandi County.
He denied the charge and was detained at Eldoret prison, having been denied bond after the prosecution said he was a flight risk.
Ongeri was reported missing on July 24, 2019, from his workstation after successfully negotiating a promotion for nurses with officials from Kisumu County’s health department.
His decomposing body was discovered in the forest by a herdsman after a search by his colleagues, friends, and family.
The body was identified at Kapsabet mortuary by his wife Brossy Makimtigwa Ongeri, a Ugandan and also a nurse, who was in the company of Ongeri’s mother Isabel Ongeri Ondiek, a retired nurse.
Ongeri’s mother recalled her last moments with her son, saying they spoke on phone and he had promised to visit her the following week.
“My son was in high spirits and jovial when I talked to him on the phone a week before he was reported missing. Little did I know it was my last conversation with him,” Ms Ondiek said.
The family now wants the court to speed up the court process and put the matter at rest for the family to get justice for their son.
The hearing was adjourned to May 2.