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

A local diver who has been assisting in the recovery of bodies from the River Yala has gone into hiding.

On Wednesday, Nicholas Okero claimed that he was arrested and intimidated by police in Yala.

In a phone interview, Okero told the Star that he did not sleep at home last night [Wednesday] after a police officer in Yala told him that the State is not pleased with him and that he should be cautious.

“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,” he told the local daily.

Read: Two River Yala Victims Had Pending Cases in Court

“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 added.

According to Okero, the rather hostile officer coerced him into recording a statement explaining his area of expertise.

“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,” he continued.

“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.”

Read Also: River Yala Bodies: Gem MP Wants DPP, DCI To Shelve Differences In Interest Of Justice for Victims

Okero also noted that more bodies have been floating in the River Yala now that the water levels have dropped. The recently retrieved bodies have been trapped between rocks.

But according to the police, Okero could be the one tying the corpses between rocks.

During the time that he was in custody, there was allegedly a meeting of about 15 individuals at the DCI offices in Yala.

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.

So far, Okero has retrieved at least 26 bodies.

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