River Yala Diver Nicholas Okero in Hiding, Claims Life in Danger

A local diver who has been helping with the retrieval of bodies from River Yala has gone into hiding over arrest fears.

Nicholas Okero claimed that he had been arrested and intimidated by police in Yala on Wednesday.

In a phone interview, he told the Star that he did not sleep at home last night after a police officer in Yala confided in him that the State is not happy with him and that he should be careful.

“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 said.

Okero says that 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.

Okero explains that the water level in River Yala has been subsiding lately, thus exposing more bodies caged between rocks. But police are now suspecting him to be the one who has been tying the corpses between rocks.

“I was intimidated, and I am not happy,” he added.

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

Haki Africa, through a statement, said that it is through their intervention that Okero was released.

The rights organization has since vowed to hold the DCI responsible should anything happen to Okero.

Okero is the only person that the relatives of missing persons and the police in Yala have been depending on to dive and retrieve decomposing bodies of unknown individuals from River Yala.

So far, Okero has retrieved 26 bodies, the latest one being on Friday last week.

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