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Mystery as missing lawyer Simon Lilan's office 'burgled'

RIFT VALLEY
By Silah Koskei | January 19th 2017

Sally Lilan and John Talam, siblings of missing lawyer Simon Lilan who went missing on January 9, address the Press outside the lawyer’s Eldoret office. It is alleged that the office was broken into by unknown people who made away with a laptop and a printer. [Photo: Kevin Tunoi/Standard]

The mystery over the disappearance of Eldoret lawyer Simon Lilan has deepened after his office was allegedly broken into on Tuesday night.

Lilan, who unsuccessfully tried to block the burial of politician Mark Too, has been missing for the last 10 days after claiming his life was in danger following death threats from people opposed to the suit.

Family and friends of the missing lawyer, described by close associates as a controversial figure, say they have searched for him in hospitals and morgues but they are yet to trace him.

Speaking at the lawyer's offices Wednesday, his elder brother John Talam said he was shocked to find that the office, located on Nairobi Road and which was always locked, was open prompting him to inform the police.

"He has been using the office to meet his clients. The last time he was here, there used to be a laptop and a printer on the table but I did not find anything this morning. The door was partially open," said Talam.

The 50-year-old lawyer sought to halt the burial of Too until independent pathologists examined his body, saying he had solid reasons to believe the former nominated MP was killed and there was need for further investigations.

The injunction had been granted but was, however, lifted on the day of the burial allowing the family to lay to rest the former influential Kanu era politician.

Moments before he went missing, Mr Lilan, in a hastily convened press conference, had defiantly threatened to seek new orders to have the late politician's body exhumed.

Lilan has been unsuccessfully vying for various seats in Uasin Gishu since 2002 and had already started campaigning for the county Senate seat in this year's polls.

In 2002, he vied for the Eldoret East parliamentary seat on a Narc ticket and lost before trying his luck again in the 2007 elections on a PNU ticket.

In 2013, he initially declared his interest in the Uasin Gishu governor seat but later contested the senate seat but was unsuccessful.

"This year, he was focused on the senatorial seat on a Jubilee Party ticket and we have even opened up a party account as we gear up for the elections. He has been engaging the public as he seeks to clinch the seat," his brother said.

In his affidavit before an Eldoret court, the father of four said he was a friend and a lawyer to the late Mark Too.

"I have all the reasons to believe that the Mr Too was murdered and that there are some external forces and collusions by the respondents to keep the truth from the family, relatives, friends and the public," he stated.

Security guard

According to Gilbert Kiprop, a security guard who has been guarding the lawyer's offices, two people scaled the wall on Tuesday night.

"One was wearing a suit and the other a jacket, they climbed the wall into the premise that hosts the office. I ran to a nearby petrol station to alert my colleagues but on returning, they had disappeared," he said.

On Monday, he said, a gang of five had also visited the premises at around midnight but disappeared after hearing some movements.

Officers from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations spent the better part of Wednesday morning piecing together information over the alleged burglary.

In an interesting turn of events, Eldoret East OCPD Adamson Furaha Wednesday said their preliminary investigations showed no signs of a break in.

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