The dramatic 48-hour search for the controversial Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi ended theatrically Sunday morning when he appeared to police in Eldoret before being transferred to cool his heels in a Nakuru cell.
The lawmaker, who inexplicably escaped police at his home Kapseret on Friday evening, walked to Langas Police Station, Eldoret, accompanied by his attorney Gladys Shollei, wife’s representative Wasin Gishu and other lawmakers; catching officers in the report office by surprise.
“After media reports that police were looking for him, Sudi decided to appear because there was no summons nor was there an arrest warrant for him,” Ms Shollei said.
“He was not on the run because he was not called, he showed up voluntarily and he was officially booked at 8am and now he is in police custody in accordance with the law.”
Wasin Gishu police chief Johnston Ipara said Mr Sudi’s allies helped him “fish” him out of his secret places, but the officer could not explain how the deputy managed to hide from the field’s suspected eyes.
“I applaud the leaders who managed to fish him out of his hiding places because it has helped ease tensions, which were building up across the region,” Mr Ipara said. “We have been looking for Sudi, we wanted him to be arrested so that he could record a statement from the NCIC against the statements he made.”
Although they are still to determine where the lawmaker was hiding, Mr Ipara said, police suspect he was in Nandi County.
The police chief said his suspicion was fueled by the presence of Governor Nandi Stephen Sang and Aldai MP Cornelly Serem, who were among a host of leaders accompanying Mr Sudi to the police station.
“Our intention was to arrest the MP and this could be done either by us arresting him or he surrendering himself; and what happened in the morning is a clear indication that Mr Sudi could have been hiding somewhere in Nandi and that is the reason why Governor Sang and MP Serem made him accompany us to our stations, “said Mr. Ipara.
“Those who say he was not hiding, then why was he not in his house?”
According to the MP, he appeared before the authorities instead of getting involved in what he described as “drama” after a heavily armed police contingent barricaded his house on Friday evening. “It was unnecessary to deal with a lot of drama by sending a contingent of police officers to my house. I was away by the time the police arrived in my country,” he posted on his social media accounts.
More than 100 officers under Mr Ipara’s command raided Mr Sudi’s home on Friday evening seeking to arrest him for alleged hate speech and incitement, but he managed to escape under unclear circumstances.
During the operation, an Officer of the General Service Unit was wounded in his right hand while trying to gain entry and the MP’s guard, a Mr. Samuel Kibiwot, was shot in his right and left shoulders.
According to police reports, seven people were arrested during the raid, including three officers working with the Presidential Escort Unit.
Police claimed that officers – Simon Siengo and Issack Dida and CI Ekiru – came to rescue Mr Sudi from his home in a Toyota Prado and one fled with the MP while the other two stayed behind.
Two officers who were arrested at Mr Sudi’s home – Simon Siengo and Issack Dida – were released due to lack of evidence, according to sub-county police chief Capt. Francis Warui.
CI Ekiru, who is suspected of having run away with Mr. Sudi, had not yet been accounted until Sunday evening. “We have not yet established why they were in Sudi’s place, however, due to the 24-hour rule, we had to release them as we continue our investigations into the matter. After assembling our parts to ensure their prosecution “We will arrest them again,” Mr Warui said by telephone.
When he surrendered, Mr Sudi later joined a police vehicle, which rushed to Eldoret Airstrip, where he was airlifted by a police helicopter to Nakuru to record a statement with the National Cohesion Commission and Integration on the words he made last week.
By Onyango K’onyango, Barnabas Bii and Joseph Openda
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