December 13th 2017

Top Stories / Counties

Police investigating Siaya chief over suspect's torture, death

Siaya County commissioner Oningio Olessosie, who confirmed receiving the report of the chief's conduct, said he had directed the police to probe the administrator, whom he said could have violated the law.

By Free Press Correspondentnewsdesk@kenyafreepress.comTuesday, 02 Aug 2016 17:16 EAT

An assistant chief from Siaya County is under police investigation following the death Sunday of a man who had been tortured under his custody.

The assistant chief is alleged to have arrested a suspected wife batterer at the suspect’s home two Saturdays ago, only for the man to be beaten by a rowdy mob in the full view of the administrator.

Nyalgunga sub location assistant chief, Peter Keya, is claimed to have arrested Fredrick Owino, 45, a jua kali artisan, after Owino’s wife sought his attention following a domestic quarrel.

According to Owino’s brother, Bernard Otieno, Owino had arrived home at night from a drinking spree before differing with wife, who was expectant. Owino threw the wife out of the house and locked the door from inside, forcing the wife to seek help from the assistant chief who lived nearby.

The assistant chief responded swiftly, accompanied the stranded wife to her matrimonial home. The chief persuaded Owino to open the door, but instead of initiating a truce between man and wife, he took the man to the nearby Nyalgunga trading center.

Otieno explained that while there, a mob descended on Owino with crude weapons, beating him senseless, in full view of the chief, and later dumped his body by the wayside outside the deceased’s homestead the next morning.

Otieno said that it was eyewitnesses who informed his family about the beating suffered by Owino, who was unconscious. The family rushed Owino to Siaya Referral Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries after a one-week hospitalization in which his condition never improved.

Siaya County commissioner Oningio Olessosie, who confirmed receiving the report of the chief's conduct, said he had directed the police to probe the administrator, whom he said could have violated the law.

“The assistant chief ought to have taken the deceased to any of the gazetted police cells rather than locking him up in his office,” said Mr Olessosie, who revealed that the police are investigating the administrator.

Reached for comment, assistant chief Keya, however, disputed the claims of torture at Nyalgunga Market. He claimed that he had locked Owino up in his office before setting him free the following day only to learn of his death later.

“I decided to lock up him in my office since I could not leave him in the same room with his pregnant wife,” added the administrator on phone.

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