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Officer still missing three years after Baragoi attack

RIFT VALLEY
By Patrick Kibet | Feb 24th 2016 | 2 min read

One officer is still missing more than three years after the deadly ambush on police officers in Baragoi.

A former Baragoi deputy OCS yesterday told Nakuru High Court judge Justice Maureen Odero that the missing policeman was among officers who were on a mission to recover stolen cattle.

Chief Inspector Christopher Obat, who is now serving in Kericho, was testifying in a case in which Nachola Member of County Assembly Lawrence Sebastian Lolunjei, Christopher Lokarach, Amojong Lothuro Sammy, Jeremiah Ekurao, Loomwa Looyen, Ekai Loyee and Ewoi Losike are accused of murdering 12 police officers.

He said the officers from different units were pursuing over 500 livestock that were driven to Lomerok Valley after they were stolen from Samburu on October 19, 2012.

Obat said that the officers were divided into three groups, and reinforced by Kenya police reservists from Samburu community during the operation. "As we approached Lomerok hills we were ambushed at about 9.30am, a fierce gunfight ensued leading to the death of several officers. We tried to get reinforcement but it was not possible till the following day," Obat told the court.

"It was a very long battle for us and it was only at about 3.30pm when we got to safe grounds. It was a very long day. We lost many officers including police reservists," he added.

During cross-examination, he testified that he did not see any of the seven accused persons during the attack and that the chiefs and local leaders had worked well with the police officers in the area.

Another witness Charles Ambogo, also a policeman, told the court that mobile phones recovered from the accused persons did not yield any evidence of text messages sent prior and after the massacre.

He, however, said that a video recording was presented for examination showing one of the accused addressing a meeting before the massacre. The case was adjourned to June 16 and 17.

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