By Prudence Minayo
Wycliffe Ogallo served as the Commissioner General of Kenyan prisons. He was unceremoniously hounded out of office on 17 October 2021 following the daring escape of three terror convicts. Mr Ogallo was in charge of overseeing the well being and security of prisons around the country among other responsibilities. Wycliffe began working for the government soon after graduating from university.
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Wycliffe is an alumni of Kisumu Boys High School.
Around the mid 80s, he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Nairobi.
In 2014, he graduated with a Masters degree in Public Policy and Administration from Kenyatta University.
Soon after graduating from university, he was appointed District Officer in the office of the president. He rose through the ranks to become Administrative Secretary at the Ministry of Coordination and Interior.
In March 2019, he was appointed Commissioner General of the Kenya Prisons Services. He took over from Isaya M. Osugo, who had been at the helm of Kenyan prisons, having been tapped from the police service.
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During his swearing in, a statement by the State House read that they wanted to see him continue with the ongoing prison reforms. These reforms were started way back by the then Vice President Moody Awori. They also expressed the belief that together with his officers, they would see how reformed prisoners can positively impact the development of the country.
Also Read: Life Inside Kamiti Maximum Prison
The Prisoner Commission General was fired after the escape of three terror convicts from Kamiti Maximum Prison. The escapees are: Mohamed Ali Abikar, Joseph Juma Odhiambo and Musharraf Abdalla Akhulunga. The directive to fire him was issued by the President two days after the prisoners escaped. He has been replaced by Brigadier John Kibaso Warioba.
“The appointment follows the briefing to the head of state from the Ministry responsible for Correctional Services regarding the security breaches at Kamiti Security Prison that led to the escape of three inmates,” said the State House Spokesperson Kanze Dena.
On Wednesday, 17th November, the same day he was fired, the former prison boss was arrested by Anti Terrorism Police Unit (ATPU). He was arrested alongside commandant of Kamiti Maximum Prison Charles Mutembei and his deputy. The Director of Criminal Investigation George Kinoti said they were in custody in order to assist with the investigations as they were in charge of prisoners during the escape.
Assa Nyakundi, his lawyer, said Wycliffe was not informed of the reason for his arrest.
“I can authoritatively say that Ogallo was arrested after handing over office and he was taken to DCI headquarters,” he said.
The lawyer then confirmed that he had been freed while the Inspector General of police Hillary Mutyambai said that he was not arrested but was just being escorted home.