Stand Off as Fired Prisons Boss Refuses Police Escort

Fired Commissioner General of Prisons Service, Wycliffe Ogalo
Fired Commissioner General of Prisons Service, Wycliffe Ogalo

Drama and confusion surrounded the removal from office of former Kenya Prisons Service Commissioner General, Wycliffe Ogalo, who was sacked by President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday, November 17.

It all begun with a crisis meeting convened by the Head of State at State House, Nairobi that brought together top security officials in the country. Among the issues discussed was laxity in the security docket and the escape of three terrorism convicts from the Kamiti Maximum Prison.

The meeting resulted in the announcement of the sacking of top Kenya Prisons officials including Ogalo and the Kamiti Maximum Prison Commandant, Charles Mutembei. 

John Kibaso Taking the Oath of Office at State House as New Prisons Boss on Wednesday November 17, 2021
John Kibaso Taking the Oath of Office at State House as New Prisons Boss on Wednesday, November 17, 2021.

Ogalo was replaced by Brigadier (Rtd.) John Kibaso Warioba, who was immediately sworn into office.

Shortly after, a contingent of vehicles including one with heavily armed members of the Anti-Terror Police Unit (ATPU) arrived at Magereza House, Nairobi. The ex-prisons boss and Mutembei emerged out of the building in the company of officers from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI).

The two were whisked into vehicles, which, according to media footage, were headed to the DCI Headquarters. However, shortly after the melee at Magereza House, the National Police Service released a statement contradicting the arrest narrative.

"This is to clarify that police only facilitated a smooth and seamless handover of office," the statement read in part.

An hour later, the ousted head of Kenya Prisons Service, through his lawyers, announced that he would be making a press statement at his home in Langata.

Sources revealed that Ogalo had earlier on called for a press conference at Magereza House but the function was called off after he was reportedly summoned by Interior Cabinet Secretary (CS), Fred Matiang'i. However, Matiang'i's office denied summoning him.

The drama did not end at that. A source privy to the aftermath of the office melee told that there was a stand-off at a popular restaurant along the busy Langata Road between Ogalo and the DCI officers who were deployed to escort him home.

The former, who had been publicly removed from office, wanted to be left at the restaurant to avoid putting his family through a similar drama.

After minutes of protracted negotiations, according to his lawyer, the former Kenya Prisons Service boss, agreed to be escorted home by the heavily armed officers.

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