River Yala Body Retriever Living in Fear Following Police Warning

February 4, 2022
Nicholas Okite Okero (far left) with Hussein Khalid of Haki Africa on the banks of River Yala.

Nicholas Okero, a diver who has been helping authorities retrieve bodies from River Yala, says he is in fear for his life after he was arrested on Wednesday.

The diver told the Star he has not been sleeping at home after a police officer in Yala warned him that he should be cautious.

Okero further claimed he went to the DCI offices Yala thinking he would be paid for his services only to be detained.

“I was called by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations officer in Yala, who told me that the Homicide boss wanted to meet me. The homicide boss was supposed to pay me Sh5,000 for the latest body that I retrieved from River Yala last Friday. It is the amount that they have been paying me.

Upon arriving at the DCI office in Yala, I was detained and my phone confiscated. I was detained from 8:00 am up to 4:30 pm. I was not even allowed to smoke cigarettes,” he lamented.

Okero claimed the homicide officer became hostile and forced him to record a statement explaining his job.

“He claimed that they suspect that I was hiding bodies in Ndanu falls in River Yala. Accordingly, they insisted that I record a statement explaining my role in the River Yala bodies mystery.

“It is after one of the police officers confided in me that I needed to be careful that I decided to go into hiding. I did not sleep at home,” Okero told the daily.

“I was intimidated, and I am not happy,” the diver said.

He explained it has been easier to retrieve the bodies owing to the subsiding water levels in River Yala.

Okero also mentioned that during his detention,  a meeting of about 15 people  was held at the DCI offices in Yala.

Human Rights organization, Haki Africa, on Thursday said Okero was released following their intervention.

“On Wednesday, Haki Africa learnt that Okero Okite was summoned by the police in Yala on the pretext of being offered a job by the State for his good work. However, on reaching the station, he was detained and threatened. His phone was also confiscated,” Haki Africa said.

“We demand that he immediately be given protection and that Kenyans speak out against this intimidation,” Haki Africa added.

As of Friday, January 28, Okero had recovered 26 bodies.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Don't Miss