Renowned criminal lawyer Cliff Ombeta on Wednesday, March 25 accused the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) of covering up the execution of Wycliff Vincent Oduor.
Oduor, alleged to be the brains behind the Ksh72 million ATM bank heist in Nairobi West in 2019, was gunned down by DCI officers on Tuesday, March 24 at Kayole Junction in Nairobi.
The DCI had claimed that Oduor was part of a 3-man gang tied to various robberies, with the gang alleged to have engaged the police in a shoot-out that left Oduor dead as the other two individuals escaped on motorbikes.
Speaking to Kenyans.co.ke on Thursday, March 26, however, Ombeta broke down why he believes the police report is a complete fabrication, maintaining that his client was murdered in cold blood by the DCI.Lawyer Cliff Ombeta pictured during a photo session at Sarova Stanley in November 2019Daily Nation
"Oduor is my client, I have been representing him in the Ksh72m case. Recently he was trying to follow up on his impounded Subaru," the lawyer disclosed.
Ombeta alleged that in recent weeks, Oduor had been receiving odd phone calls from individuals who promised to help him with his case if he offered them some amount of money.
He claimed that on the fateful day, Oduor was lured from his home by a phone call from a woman, who called him advising him to immediately meet up to help him find a way out of his troubles.
Ombeta further maintained that reports of Oduor being a robber around Kayole Junction and engaging police in a shoot-out were false and created by the DCI to justify his killing.
"There was a person calling him, claiming to be able to help him with the case if he parted with some money. They were also threatening him with what would happen if he failed to comply. At times he would be called even past midnight and asked to leave the house but initially he did not.
"On that day he had just had lunch with his wife in the evening when he received a call from a woman asking him to meet, telling him she could help him with his situation. One and a half-hours later, his body was at City Mortuary.
"Surely, are you telling me that he left his home, went and robbed people, engaged police in a shoot-out and was dead all within an hour?
"If indeed he robbed these people, who complained? Where was the report filed, which officer recorded it? Why didn't members of the public hear about a shoot-out or a robbery? If it was a shoot-out, how then did the bullet enter his body at such close range? I have established that the police cannot answer any of these questions, this was simply an execution," he asserted.
He revealed that Oduor had planned to share new information with him at a scheduled meeting before his client was killed.
Ombeta challenged the DCI to reveal any reported incidences of robberies or muggings around the area blamed on Oduor. The lawyer further vowed to pursue the matter to its full conclusion.
"This one, I am not letting go. This is my client, they killed him. There was no shoot-out, no 3-man gang, nothing. He was simply lured and killed.
"I will pursue this matter to the end. I'm looking into private prosecution," he stated.
Ombeta explained that he was considering private prosecution as he considered the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) as currently constituted 'a toothless dog'.
He stated that it was time for lawyers to take a stand against extra-judicial killings, observing a trend by police to cover up executions by accusing the slain individuals of engaging in non-existent robberies and shoot-outs.
"It's been happening because we've been quiet. It's time to take a stand. When the civil society raises these issues of extra-judicial killings in Nairobi and Mombasa, we are always on the sidelines," he stated.
The DCI was yet to respond to queries made by Kenyans.co.ke on Ombeta's allegations by the time of publication.
"Armed with pistols and riding on a motorbike, the three started robbing members of the public at the said location, a scene which attracted the attention of a team of Kayole detectives on patrol.
"The gang defied orders to surrender, engaging the officers in a gunfire exchange which left the said suspect down. The other two escaped on the motorbike but are being pursued. A Pistol and a kitchen knife were recovered from the slain suspect," the DCI statement read in part.
Oduor had been charged in connection with a bank robbery that took place on September 5, 2019, with the robbers allegedly posing as police officers.
It was alleged that the impostors stole the money from G4S personnel and an ATM belonging to Standard Chartered Bank in Nairobi West.A photo of Wycliffe Vincent Oduor, accused of orchestrating the Ksh72 million Nairobi West Bank Heist with bundles of money.DCI
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