Man who died at police post could have been tortured, autopsy reveals

Written By: KNA

The family has called for the immediate arrest of those behind his death.

The body of father of three who died in a police post in Ugenya sub county, Siaya showed signs of torture, a post mortem carried out by two pathologists have revealed.

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According to the pathologists, the late Sylvester Otieno Odoi had a dislocated shoulder and marks on his wrist.

The postmortem, done at the Ukwala sub county hospital mortuary in the presence of the Independent Police Oversight Authority (IPOA), Criminal Investigations Department officers, family, human rights activists and the media revealed several bruises while internally, there were blood clots on the brain and lungs.

The clots, together with foam like substances from the lungs were indications that the deceased could have been strangled at some point, said the medics.

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Addressing the media after the postmortem, a consultant pathologist, Dr. Dickson Mchana and Ukwala sub county hospital medical officer, Dr. Olive Onyango said they have documented their findings which they handed over to the directorate of criminal investigations for further action.

Dr. Mchana said that apart from the preliminary report, further samples from the deceased’s kidney, liver, heart, small intestines and stomach were extracted for further analysis at the government chemist.

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Dr. Mchana, who was hired by the Independent Medico Legal Unit (IMLU) to stand in for the family allayed fears that the sample could be tampered with to enable those suspected to be behind the murder go scott free.

“I have confidence in the Government Chemist” he said adding that he expected the results to be out within three weeks after which he will meet the suspects in court to give evidence.

Earlier before the postmortem, a commotion ensued when Dr. Onyango demanded a Sh5,000 fee before allowing the postmortem.

Family members protested at the last minute demand, arguing that they had paid a Sh12,500 fee which they had been billed by the hospital.

Their plea to the medic to have the exercise proceed fell on deaf ears, as she gave them up to 4 in the afternoon to pay up or forget about the exercise.

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The family had to plead with the public for donations before raising the amount which they gave to the doctor.

Later, Dr. Onyango said that that was her professional fee for carrying out the postmortem and had nothing to do with the county government that runs health matters in the county.

Addressing the media, the field coordinator for Malaika Foundation, Fredrick Ojiro condemned the medic for making the demand and challenged area governor, Cornel Rasanga to ensure proper facilitation of the health sector.

Ojiro, who was among those who contributed to raise money, lamented that there was no receipt issued adding that though the doctor’s intention could be justified, the practice could encourage corruption.

The field coordinator, at the same time, lamented that statements by witnesses to the alleged torture and eventual death of the late Odoi had been changed at the police station.

“We were there with witnesses to check on the progress but to our consternation, what they gave in dholuo were wrongly translated into English,” he said adding that they had raised the matter and had the witnesses record the same afresh with IPOA.

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Ojiro called for the immediate arrest and arraignment before court on the suspected perpetrators.

Family spokesman, Julius Ong’ong’o said they will bury the late on Saturday but will press for the arrest and prosecution of anybody linked to the death of their 25 year old son.

The late Sylvester Otieno Odoi was arrested two weeks ago by a village elder in the company of a man who had alleged that the deceased had stolen his old iron sheets.

He was frog marched to the Ratado police post, where villagers claim he was tortured and beaten senseless by the police, before succumbing to injuries while at the post.

There have been fears that the police were bent on tampering with evidence so as to shield their own from prosecution. This forced the family to scuttle a hurriedly prepared postmortem exercise last Thursday in the absence of an independent pathologist to represent their interest.


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