A Nairobi Court will February 24 sentence a bodaboda rider remanded at Kamiti Maximum Prisons on two counts of conspiracy to blow up Nairobi’s iconic Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC).
Victor Bwire Odede alias Abdulaziz, 34 is also accused of collection of information in preparation to commit a terrorist act contrary to section 29 of the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2012.
The court on Wednesday, February 8 adjourned the sentencing to February 24, 2023.
He is a cousin to former terror convict Elgiva Oliacha Bwire whom security agencies believe fled the country to join al-Shabaab in Somalia upon the completion of his sentence in 2022.
He vanished after his release from jail.
Odede was arrested while collecting data on KICC and conveyed the same to his Somalia-based handler identified as Mohamud Abdi Aden alias Mohamed Yare Abdallah via Facebook.
Yare is a wanted terrorist linked to the planning and facilitation of the Dusit attack on January 15, 2019, that claimed the lives of 22 people.
Odede was part of a team deployed by al-Shaabab to collect information in preparation for major attacks targeting crowded areas in Kenya including KICC, Supreme Court, and NSSF building before police thwarted their plans.
He traveled to Elwak in Mandera in November 2018 where he stayed with his handler Mohamed Yare who briefed him on plans by al-Shaabab to attack Kenya and his role to make the terror group’s mission successful.
Yare was arrested in April 2014 after he was found collecting information for al-Shaabab to conduct terror attacks in Nairobi and later acquitted by the court citing technicalities in 2017.
He relocated to Somalia to continue fighting for Al Shabaab in Somalia.
Yare met Elgiva Oliacha Bwire while in prison who connected him to Odede in May 2018, investigations show.
Odede was a frequent visitor to Elgiva while he was serving his sentence at Naivasha Maximum Prison.
On several occasions, Elgiva received money from Yare and shared it with Odede and other al-Shaabab fighters to fund their activities as well as look after their families, police investigations show.
Upon receiving some training and tasks, Odede traveled back to Nairobi by bus loaded with cash to facilitate his terror activities in Nairobi.
On his way, Odede collected data on the number of roadblocks and security officers manning them as well as brainstorm on the possibility of moving firearms using the same route to Nairobi without detection.
Odede was also said to have collected data on the Nairobi-Moyale route and security checks while doing a round trip on a motorbike from Nairobi to Moyale and he shared the same with his handler Yare.
Odede’s data from the Nairobi-Moyale route was used by the al-Shaabab terror group four months later to enable the movement of the Dusitd2 attacker Osman Ahmed Hassan Elmi alias Osman Ibrahim Gedi who crossed into Kenya in early January 2019 to lay ground for the attack.
Odede who was born and brought up in Eastleigh and Dandora converted to Islam in 2008 after completing his secondary school education at St. Augustine in Lukhuna, Western Kenya before joining Kenya Polytechnic now Technical University of Kenya (TUK) where he pursued a course in Medical Records and Information Technology.
Odede defended himself saying Yare was a sugar merchant and his trip to Moyale on a motorbike was meant to check whether the police would ‘disturb’ him on the way.
On surveillance at KICC, the convict said Abdalla wanted to hold a Somali cultural event at the iconic building sometime in 2019 and sought for details about the area.
Senior principal magistrate Benard Ochoi who said an exhibitor would be interested in knowing about the price for holding an exhibition, ambiance and accessibility among others.
As part of the process, Odede was also asked to drop anything identified with him including mobile phones, identity cards and Facebook accounts.
To acquire new mobile phones, he was asked to pick up lost identity cards and register a new line.
He later opened three Facebook accounts, Sadik Ali Mose, Kimsam, and Soze Keziah, which he would communicate with Abdalla in Somalia.
He was also asked to purchase three books after being sent money and confirm whether he was ready for Hijrah, sought of emigration for the sake of Allah.
A Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent who testified through mutual legal assistance, told the court that the communication on Facebook found its way to an accomplice in Somalia.
In the ruling, the magistrate said although circumstantial, all the evidence pointed out that Odede was conspiring to commit a terrorist act.