Twist in case of missing former terror convict

Sunday, October 31st, 2021 00:00 |
Former Westland’s MP Fred Gumo and a police officer at the a scene of abduction of his sister-in-law and driver, last week. Photo/PD/Kenna Claude

Former terror convict Elgiva Oliacha, who was released from custody but immediately picked by unknown gunmen is still missing. 

Oliacha was on Thursday released from Kamiti Maximum Prison after serving a 10-year jail term for killing two people and injuring scores of others in a terror attack. He was declared missing upon release.

Mystery into his disappearance deepened with reports that he was not fully rehabilitated from extremism. 

His mother, Jacinta Bwire, sister-in-law of former Westlands MP Fred Gumo, Gumo’s driver Willis Otieno and Oliacha’s brother, who had gone to pick him from prison were also later that evening kidnapped by unknown people. They were released on Saturday night. 

On reaching the city centre, Oliacha was abducted and his mother, upon receiving the information, headed to Gumo’s home to inform him but was also kidnapped along the way. 

Jacinta, a former Nairobi Water and Sewerage Company employee and the driver were bundled into another car, a white double cabin pick up. 

Senior officials

Gumo yesterday told People Daily that the ex-convict was still missing but confirmed the mother and his driver were fine, without giving more details. 

He said Jacinta was released on Saturday night while their driver called Sunday morning to say he had been freed.

“We do not know where Oliacha is but Jacinta and driver were released by the captors. They are fine resting now,” he said.  

Some senior security officials who sought anonymity, however, said there were concerns that the former convict may not have reformed, and was likely to go back to his past activities.

“He is still the same and we strongly believe he never changed while in prison,” they said.

Intelligence reports also indicate that some terror convicts never disengage from extremism or get rehabilitated. 

Investigations have also revealed that prisons constituted potential locations for recruiting to terrorism and extremism of prisoners sentenced for other offences unrelated to violent extremism.

Kenya National Strategy to Counter Violent Extremism has said some of these facilities provided convicted terrorists and their supporters with a potentially captive audience of disaffected individuals, free of distractions.

“Recruiters exploit the vulnerability of their fellow prisoners by offering prayers, psychosocial support, and financial assistance both during incarceration and after release,” the report states.

Oliacha’s lawyer, Prof Hassan Nandwa also went missing the same evening. He had gone to Central Police Station to report  his client’s disappearance before heading to Jamia Mosque for the evening prayers. That was the last time he was seen.

Several people

Shortly past 8pm, the lawyer’s home in Kingston residence along Ngong road was also raided by people who identified themselves as police officers.

Nandwa’s son said the men demanded to know the whereabouts of  Oliacha. Officials, however, said yesterday they expected Nandwa to be released soon.

Supreme Council of Muslims chairman Hassan Ole Nado said Jacinta and her husband had in April gone to his office to ask for help and safety of their son who was about to be freed from jail.

“They said they were concerned their son may go missing as soon as he is released because of the nature of charges he faced. There was little we could do then,” he said.

Following the October 24, 2011 terror attack at Kaka Bus stage along Race Course road, Oliacha was arrested in Kayole where a cache of weapons and ammunition was recovered.

In 2011, Oliacha was jailed after he confessed to being a member of the Al Shabaab and engaging in criminal activities. He was released following a court order on Thursday, October 28.

More on News