The father of a man who was abducted near Blue Post Hotel in Thika last Monday has insisted his son was a police officer, even as authorities insist they have no record of such an officer.
Mr Osman Ahmed Omar Godana, whose family insists was a police sergeant, is still missing.
Whereas his family says he was serving as a police officer, and had just received a transfer from his work station in Marsabit, the police have maintained that they have no record showing Mr Omar was one of them.
His father, Mr Omar Godana Dida, has, however, gone to great lengths to prove that his son was a police officer.
A week after the disappearance of his son, who was kidnapped by four people who, according to witnesses, were armed with guns and wore what looked like bulletproof vests, Mr Godana narrated to the Nation his son’s troubles while serving in the National Police Service.
First, he produced his son’s police service number — 89450, then went into the details of how his son was trained by the state before joining the service.
Mr Godana revealed that his son joined the GSU Training College in 2007, aged 18. Shortly after completing his training in March 2008, Mr Omar was posted to Malaba, then Laikipia, within a period of six months each, to finalise his recruitment.
“Omar then returned to the GSU Training College for two years, where he assisted in instructing till around 2011,” Mr Godana said.
Beginning 2012, Mr Omar reportedly continued with his studies at the training college and it is after another two years that he joined the police service fully and was promoted to the rank of corporal.
“Shortly after my son was given the rank of a corporal, which was in 2014, he was posted to Laisamis Sub County police station,” he said.
All went smoothly for the budding police officer that he was promoted to the rank of a police sergeant because he was “hardworking and loved his job”, said his father.
The six years leading to 2020 were blissful for Mr Omar, until mid-last year, when trouble struck.
“Omar was transferred to Turbi police station around July last year. This was fine, he had not been transferred for long. However, in the middle of his second month there, he was transferred to a police station in Sabaret. Both the two stations are in Marsabit County,” Mr Godana said.
Though his son never spoke much about his work, his father knew something was amiss. He approached his son and asked him what the problem was. That is when Mr Omar opened up to his father and told him he was very frustrated by his superiors.
“How can I be transferred from one station to another with no explanation nor consultation. These people are frustrating me. I do not know what they want from me,” Mr Omar reportedly told his father.
Sensing his son in anguish, Mr Omar asked him to calm down. He encouraged him, telling him that perhaps there some good would come out of the situation.
“For two weeks, Omar refused to report to Sabaret. I think his bosses interpreted his reluctance for defiance and again, he was transferred to some other police station in West Pokot. I never knew its name,” Mr Godana said.
Abducted by armed men
“These people were really hell bent on frustrating my son. It is like they wanted to push him out of work for some reason. How can one get transferred to three work stations in less than three months? How? Now they (police) are saying that they do not know him! They know where my son is!” he added.
So depressed was his son in the last months of 2020 that he separated with his wife and their child. Had he been in his right mind, he would not have done that, his father said.
One day his son told him that he had been transferred to a better place in Nairobi. Sergeant Omar, previously downcast and crestfallen, was now a happy man with a radiating countenance. He started going to Nairobi frequently but would always go back to Isiolo a few days later. He even re-married four months ago, his father revealed.
Mr Abdi Todi, Mr Omar’s friend, who was with him in the car when he was abducted, told the Nation that he was forced to ask his friend about his new work station because he was always in Isiolo, his home.
“Whenever I asked him where he worked, he told me that he was now working in Karen, but I constantly saw him in Isiolo, but had never asked him about the discrepancy. He is my friend, I have known him for some time now, I did not bother to get the details,” Mr Todi said.
Everyone was happy with the new development. His up and down movement between Isiolo and his new workplace was commonplace, the two men said.
And it was while on one of these trips back to Nairobi that he was abducted by the four armed men.
They were in a car that overtook his, swerved to the left and stopped. The men came out, guns drawn at the startled driver and his passengers, banged the bonnet and ordered him out.
So mean-looking were the abductors that Mr Todi has no doubt they would have shot him had things gone awry, he explained.
No police record
With the guns pointed at them, Mr Todi had reached down for his shoes, which he had kicked off somewhere along the way.
The man pointing the gun at him through the window, perhaps thinking Mr Todi was reaching for a weapon, shouted at him not to move. The other men opened the driver’s door and hauled Mr Omar out of the car.
“We have the man we wanted, you can now proceed with your journey,” one of the men announced.
When he alighted from the car and pressed the abductors to reveal their identity and tell him where they were taking his friend, Mr Todi said he was ordered to get back into the car and take with him the other passengers – his sister-in-law, and a mother with a young child whom Mr Omar had given a lift.
“I stood at the door and one of the armed men came and banged it, forcing me back in,” Mr Todi said.
Mr Omar has not been seen since. Nine days later, the family has yet to hear anything from the police.
When informed by the Nation that the police had no record of his son having been a police officer, Mr Godana was beyond shocked.
“How can they say that? There is no way they can say they do not know him. The police know something but they are trying to hide the truth,” he said.
The police on the other hand, have said through their spokesperson, Mr Bruno Shioso, that they have not found any record showing that the person abducted on Thika road was a police officer.
“We are yet to find any document or record on the man. We have searched all our databases so far, and nothing has come up. We will, however, keep looking. So far, we have nothing on our end. It could be a case of an impersonator, but we will check him up,” he said.
When sent the police service number presented by the distraught father to the Nation, Mr Bruno insisted the police would continue to check their files, but they had still not found any new data on the missing man.
Nairobi Regional Commander Augustine Nthumbi also told the Nation that his office could not tell the station where Mr Omar worked.
While the police are still checking and counterchecking their documents, the family of Mr Omar is still wallowing in grief and getting more restless, fearing he could be dead with every passing day.
Three other people — Muslim scholar Abdiwahab Sheikh Abdisamad, Mombasa businessman Abdulhakim Salim Sagar and Kikuyu-based businessman Josiah Waiguru Gathungu — who had been abducted in a manner almost similar to how Mr Omar was taken, were released last weekend.
“We hope our son will be released just like the other three abducted men were. The police have not reached out to us and we are not aware if there has been any progress made in the search for my child. I will still wait, but it is very sad,” Mr Godana concluded.