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Kenya President Ruto Disbands Special Police Unit Notorious For Enforced Disappearance Of Citizens, Nigerians, Others Foreigners

 Kenya President Ruto Disbands Special Police Unit Notorious For Enforced Disappearance Of Citizens, Nigerians, Others Foreigners The Kenya ...

 Kenya President Ruto Disbands Special Police Unit Notorious For Enforced Disappearance Of Citizens, Nigerians, Others Foreigners

The Kenya President, William Ruto has disbanded the Special Service Unit of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) which was alleged to have been behind several cases of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances of both citizens and foreign nationals.

SaharaReporters earlier reported that some Nigerian nationals living in Kenya had disappeared without any trace in the East African country while some were extrajudicially killed by operatives of DCI in the country.

It also reported that the operatives of the notorious police unit had tortured and extorted several Nigerian nationals.

Meanwhile, President Ruto while explaining the reason behind the ban at a thanksgiving service in Kericho County on Sunday, said that the unit had been turned into a militia used to execute Kenyans, reports.

The president stated that the police squad was responsible for the unexplained death of citizens whose bodies were recovered from the infamous River Yala.

"They had five years which they used to run down the country in which insecurity had hit unimaginable levels with bodies killed found in River Yala. The police had deviated from the role of protecting Kenyans to killing them.

"That is why I gave an order that the SSU of the police be disbanded because it was killing Kenyans anyhow," the president stated.

The medium reported that Ruto's explanation came hours after the DCI had announced that the unit had been scrapped following a directive from the Acting Inspector General of Police (IG) Noor Gabow.

A statement Gabow issued stated, "the DCI Special Service Unit (SSU) has been disbanded with immediate effect. All officers serving in the disbanded unit have been recalled to DCI Headquarters for further instructions."

The investigative agency noted that the move was part of changes in the National Police Service (NPS) under President Ruto's administration.

The unit was created in 1999 to replace Special Crime Prevention Unit.

"It was created due to the increase in unusual and peculiar crimes within the Republic of Kenya. It discharges its duties under the immediate supervision of the Director Operations DCI Headquarters and on several occasions assist in areas where Crime is perceived to be on the rise within the Country," reads its description on DCI Website.

On October 15, Ruto appointed Amin Mohammed as the new DCI Director to replace George Kinoti who submitted a resignation letter to the head of state.

While naming his nominees to the cabinet, Ruto also announced that the former police boss Hillary Mutyambai had requested to be allowed to proceed on terminal leave.

Consequently, Gabow took over in an acting capacity. On September 27, outgoing Government Spokesperson Kanze Dena announced that the president had nominated Japhet Koome to replace Mutyambai.

"His Excellency President William Ruto has nominated Eng Japhet Koome Nchebere to the position of IG of Police (IGP). Koome, a former Nairobi County Police Commander, is the current Commandant of the National Police Service College, Kiganjo," Kanze stated.

SaharaReporters had reported how some Kenyan police officers assault Nigerian nationals in the country and even go as far as making reference to the harsh treatment of protesters during the #EndSARS protests of October 2020, when some protesters were killed across Nigeria and several others were injured. Many protesters were also arrested and detained, with some still languishing in detention almost two years after.

Some policemen in Kenya also capitalise on the Nigerian government's negligence and failure to defend the interest of its nationals abroad to brutalise and assault Nigerians in the country. Some Nigerian nationals in Kenya also blame the alleged negligence of the Nigerian High Commission in the East African country for the targeted killings and forceful disappearance of Nigerians they say have been going on in the country.

Anthony Anamonye, a Nigerian victim of police brutality in Kenya who narrated his ordeals at the hands of Kenyan police officers said he sent an official report to the Nigerian High Commissioner to Kenya, Ambassador Alhaji Yusuf Yunusa on November 29, 2021, titled "Brutality, National Profiling and Xenophobic Attacks," which he described as targeting Nigerians in Kenya. The report was reportedly handed over to Mr. Godwin Ibrahim of the Consular Section, but it was allegedly swept under the carpet.

A copy of the report which was made available to the SaharaReporters revealed that Anthony was confronted by some police officers in Nairobi Industrial Area on Friday, November 26, 2021, He said he was assaulted by the police for putting on a face mask with the colours of the Nigerian flag (Green and white).

“The police officers removed the face mask from Anthony's face, handcuffed him and had him beaten and was taken to an isolated location around the popular National Archives, Nairobi where a number of about eight police officers who were heavily armed with guns hid in dark awaiting potential victims,” the report said.

Anthony, according to the report sent to the high commission, was detained by the police officers for over three hours. He was reportedly compelled to contact his family back home in Nigeria to send him some money to be used to pay a ransom.

Anthony, who spoke to SahaRareporters, narrated that he was unable to convince his family or friends to send him money. “The police officers at gunpoint collected my phone and insisted that I must transfer money to them even if it means transportation money to my residence.

“After realising that I am not buoyant enough to fund their request, I was forced to transfer the sum of 1,000 Kenyan Shillings equivalent to $10 to a certain telephone number +254757188357 with the name Risper Nduki Nzioka.

“This however was the ransom that must be paid in order to save my life at that moment from the brutal officers who roamed about the streets in search of Nigerians,” he said.

He, however, told SaharaReporters that the Nigerian High Commission in Nairobi was furnished with the details including an official M-PESA Statement from Safaricom to ease an investigation into the matter but that the Commission had remained silent on the issue.

The distressed Nigerian who moved to Mombasa a few months later to pursue a programme disclosed to SaharaReporters that on March 19, 2022, a set of four police officers who chose to hide their identities invaded his house, claiming they were determined to clamp down on Nigerians dating Kenyan women – an attitude he described as xenophobic.

He said he managed to identify two among the four officers as Esther Comboi through the following numbers (+254728118654) and David Mungai (+254721404078), all from Bamburi Police Station, Mombasa County, Kenya.

Anthony said the police officers used a machine to pull down his iron door and grievously assaulted him to such an extent that he had to go for a medical examination at Kenya's Coast General Hospital where it was ascertained that he (Anthony) was dangerously wounded in his right eye and right hand. According to him, without a search warrant, the police officers stole his money, phone, and other valuables and damaged his laptop among others.

He said his valid passport was seized in what he described as pure contempt for the Nigerian State. “This however is not the first time Kenyan police officers have engaged in tearing Nigerian passports,” he alleged.

He said the officers not contented with the beatings, handcuffed and further sexually assaulted him while he sought to use the washroom before he was whisked off to Bamburi Police Station in a white private car used by the police for the operation. Anthony said the identities of the police officers were concealed by the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA), especially the IPOA officer entrusted with investigating the matter.


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