Two Nigerians held in Kenya over student’s death, police say

Two Nigerians held in Kenya over student’s death, police say

Two men, who Kenyan police say are Nigerian, have become the latest suspects to have been arrested over the murder and mutilation of a student.

They have appeared in court but have not yet been charged or asked to plead.

In a killing that angered many Kenyans, the dismembered remains of Rita Wdaeni, 20, were discovered disposed in rubbish bags at a short-term rental apartment in the capital, Nairobi, on 14 January.

But her head, along with her phone and other personal items, were missing.

The murder has led to calls for more to be done to address violence against women.

Four Kenyans are also in custody in relation to the killing, as well as one person who had been travelling on a Mozambican passport and was picked up as he tried to leave the country.

Police have named the two new suspects being held as William Ovie Opia,and Johnbull Asbor.

Mr Opia had an expired Nigerian passport and Mr Asbor had lost his passport two years ago, police said.

The police seized several items from the suspects’ apartment, including a butcher’s knife and small axe suspected to have been used in the killing and mutilation of the university student, according to Kenyan media quoting the police.

Mr Opia told investigators that he bought the axe online for self-defence, the privately owned Nation newspaper reported.

The two men were arrested in Ndenderu, a town about 20km (12 miles) from Nairobi and near a dam where the police recovered a head suspected to be Ms Waeni’s, along with her phone and some of her missing items.

Ms Waeni’s family have so far been unable to identify the recovered head.

The family said last week that those responsible demanded a ransom of 500,000 Kenyan shillings ($3,100; £2,400) to release Ms Waeni, even after she had died.

The gruesome way in which her body was dealt with has shocked people, including the chief government pathologist Johansen Oduor, who said he had “never come across such an incident” in his forensic career.

Human rights and feminist groups have planned countrywide demonstrations to protest against what they see as a surge in femicide and violence against women.

There has been a spate of reported violent killings of women since the beginning of the year. A survey carried out in 2022 found that at least 34% of women said they had experienced physical violence at some point in their lives.

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